Another presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gbenga Olawepo-Kashim, has withdrawn from the race.
Mr Olawepo-Hashim, in a statement by his media office on Friday in Abuja, said “certain developments have necessitated my withdrawal from the 2023 presidential race, as a result of which I did not pick the nomination form.”
The aspirant withdrew some hours after the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, pulled out from the presidential race.
President Muhammadu Buhari had held a valedictory session for members of his cabinet running for different elective offices on Friday.
Mr Olawepo-Hashim, a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP,) ran for the office of the president in the 2019 election on the ticket of the Alliance for New Nigeria (AAN).
The businessman and former student activist joined the APC in August 2021 and declared to run for president on the platform of the ruling party in 2023 earlier this month.
He said he withdrew from the race after series of consultations and reflections on current developments in the political scene.
Read the full statement below
OLAWEPO-HASHIM WITHDRAWS 2023 PRESIDENTIAL RACE, SAYS “MY OWN DAY WILL COME”
Friday, 13 May 2022, Abuja, Nigeria:
After series of consultations and reflections on current developments in the political scene, a front line aspirant in the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has bowed out of the 2023 presidential contest, saying his “own day will come,” the statement said.
In a statement from his media office in Abuja on Friday, Mr. Olawepo-Hashim explained that though his decision to contest was to offer a national platform for progressive forces who believe in the necessity and possibility of a new Nigeria, capable of securing itself from internal and external threats, and bring prosperity to all her people, “certain developments have necessitated my withdrawal from the 2023 presidential race, as a result of which I did not pick the nomination form.”
He added that he is “retreating not out of the lack of will to fight for our resolve and collective aspiration for a New Nigeria, a struggle which has attracted enormous support. Sometimes WILL and RESOLVE, Energy and Preparation may not be enough to engage in an encounter.”
He equally maintained that his aspiration “is not an ambition but an historic burden , as a team player.”
” My current political pursuit must now bow to our collective National interest. It is not about me but about Nigeria, ” he said .
According to him, “I stepped aside believing that another day will come. I hope our party will still be able to find a candidate for the 2023 election that will unite and secure our country. One that will lead an inclusive government, and build a prosperous economy that will not leave anyone behind. I leave the race believing that by the Grace of God my own day will come!”
He expressed gratitude to those who have connected with his messages and those who have offered support and prayers, assuring that pausing his Presidential run is not quitting the struggle for a better Nigeria, “a struggle I have committed myself to the better part of my adult life.”
“It is a tough decision for me, but in the present circumstance it is the best thing in my judgement to do”, he said.
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