Corrupt Elements Must Not Be Allowed to Hijack 2023 Elections, Says APC Chieftain
A chieftain of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has said the first step to combat corruption in Nigeria was to ensure that the 2023 general elections was not hijacked by corrupt elements.
He also said all public officers wishing to contest the elections must resign their positions to ensure level playing ground.
Delivering a paper at a public lecture titled, “Uthman Dan Fodio: A legacy of Anti-Corruption,” at the Arewa House, Kaduna, yesterday, Olawepo-Hashim, a former Presidential candidate of the Peoples Trust Party (PTP) in the 2019 general elections, said politicians with prima-facie cases of corruption established against them must be shamed and prevented from being nominated to stand for elections in the various political parties.
He added: “if they cannot be stopped from getting party nominations, Nigerians should vote massively against them at the polls.”
He maintained that, “every Nigerian must join in the call that appointed public officers aligned with private interests who have political ambitions must resign their appointments to prevent the complete privatisation of the state by the novou riche.”
He also called for the decentralisation of government processes to reduce corruption induced through over-centralisation of power.
He advocated for a, “constitutional amendment to ensure that elected public officers at the federal and state publicly declare their assets upon election to public office.”
Olawepo-Hashim maintained that mere filling of asset declaration forms at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) should no longer suffice.
He advocated for a new policy of encouraging electronic registration of all assets such as land and house titles at state levels.
He also called for the launch of campaign for a new, “ethical reform,” aimed at promoting simple lifestyles rather than ostentatious living.
This, according to him, would ensure that public officers maintain “simplicity in the type and numbers of cars they use, houses they live in, and ceremonies they stage.”
He expressed gratitude to Arewa House for giving him the opportunity to speak on the legacy of “a scholar, philosopher and extra ordinary reformer, Sheikh Uthman Danfodio, especially as it affects corruption, the hydra headed virus ravaging Nigeria’s social political and economic fabric.”
“Nothing of recent underscores the depth of the corruption quagmire in our country as the sordid details of the alleged drug deals of the soon to be extradited top police cop, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari”, he said.
He noted that: “This particular case is interesting because it reveals how audacious the corrupt have become in the Nigerian system.
“Since Kyari was already indicted on cybercrime, one would have expected him to keep a low profile as men of the underworld do in other climes when the radar is on them.
“But in Nigeria, the criminals now believe that there is no government and that they can literally get away with just anything.”