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Politics With a Heart And Development: Saliu Mustapha Speaks On His APC Chairmanship Ambition 

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Politics With a Heart And Development: Saliu Mustapha Speaks On His APC Chairmanship Ambition 

With weeks to the convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Mallam Saliu Mustapha writes on his mission for seeking the post of national chairman of the party.

I am a development and commercial real estate consultant, a consummate progressive by choice and a passionate patriot by conviction and I will be running for the office of the National Chairman of our great party, the All Progressive Congress (APC). I have the privilege of being one of the top members of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) who consummated the merger with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) form the party that did the unthinkable by unseating the political behemoth called the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after 16 years in power.

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So, how were we able to achieve this momentous feat? We focused on politics with a heart, with the people in mind, from the rural areas to the metropolis, from the grassroots to the up-shoots.

We embodied the hopes of a better country and better politics in 2015 with the Change mandate, and guess what? The people showed their trust and belief by electing us for a second term in office in 2019.

We also brought more states under the APC banner as our message of progressive change caught the imagination and hopes of the people. However, this is not the time to rest on our oars. We must seize the initiative and press on with the momentum and confidence from these wins. I must commend the valiant efforts of our party leadership and all previous executives. You laid the foundation; ours are the shoulders of giants on which we will build a formidable party and a prosperous nation.

Like I said earlier, I aspire to the position of APC national chairman. The question some may ask is, why? The answer is not too far-fetched; because the time has come! My objective is to lead the party to a new era of sustained victories, progressive policies, dignified politics and national development.

But it hasn’t been all roses and chocolates. The party has had some challenging periods, one of which birthed the current Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), with a mandate of stabilizing and solidifying the core of our values, ably led by Governor Mai Mala Buni.

We recognize and sincerely appreciate the valiant efforts of each member and promise to build on the gains achieved and mitigate the lows. The core of my message today is that the time has come for our great party to embrace the future and optimise its mandate and potentials. We have succeeded in righting the course of the nation through the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

We must also not lose the core of our value and DNA which distinguished us from charlatans and self-seeking political mercenaries. What is this value? Progressive Change.

As the aspiring next national chairman of the ruling party, I believe our great party needs to consolidate its message and vision through deliberate and strategic inclusion, leadership mentoring and preparation, gender acknowledgement and opportunities placement, youth in-grafting, recognition of the importance of people living with disabilities and otherwise enabled individuals and groups.  Our message is Politics of Development.

My political ideology, the politics of development, is premised on the aforementioned pillars. This is a political culture that leverages on the inclusion and will of the people to achieve national development.

I am of the strong opinion that our national politics needs to evolve to the next incarnation. Having shown the way, let us hold up the light to illuminate the land! Politics should not be seen as merely a tool to ‘corner’ power; it should be a holistic platform for progressive social, cultural and existential growth. It should speak for the people, be subsumed in the people and ultimately, represent the people.

As one who has grown within the political system, a bridge between the past and the future, I have the distinct advantage of an unbiased perspective. We have seen the issues, we have identified the winning formula. We will fortify our wins and reduce opportunities for corrosive developments. We will lead from the front by providing firm, inclusive, proactive, disciplined, fair and transparent leadership.

The proposed party governance approach under my stewardship will ensure that every member is recognized and acknowledged; everyone will have a voice as we are all vested stakeholders in the common good. We will approach our mandate with timely, integrity-based and empathy-driven consciousness. Programmes and plans of the party will be inclusive, strategically crafted, robustly debated and judiciously implemented.

Ladies and gentlemen, even families have disagreements. Thus, we recognise there will be periods of friction. However, as partners in progress, we will ensure proper and transparent issues – resolution frameworks will be put in place. We are a big family with diverse backgrounds but a common goal. The APC is the ‘New Generation’ political party. In Yoruba, it can be termed as A kehinde gbegbon (he came at the latter end only to gracefully assume leadership). The party proved its mettle by delivering in 2015 and 2019. We will deliver it again in 2023.

To ensure we do not slack or lose focus, we will ensure the deployment of modern analytical methods and technologies in candidate and polity profiling. Our decisions will be backed by science and data and information technology (ICT) will form the backbone of our policies and projects. Our youths will be given opportunities and platforms to drive technological revolution. We will be a grounded, innovative and modern political party.

However, we also know that politics is local! We have proven that we understand it and we will not jettison the winning framework! As the national anthem instructs, the labors of our heroes past shall never be in vain! Our efforts will be geared towards consolidating, entrenching and proliferating our stronghold in local and grassroots politics. We will recognize everyone who has tirelessly contributed to making our party great and ensure their efforts are not in vain. We will work hand-in-hand with the government and people to ensure the dividends of democracy is a reality for all.

The APC is a modern brand and as such, will be presented and positioned correctly. The image of the party, the values of our founding elders and the aspirations of our teeming supporters will forever be held in the highest esteem and protected with vigour. I have had the privilege of serving as the deputy national chairman of one of the progenitors of this great party. I have served with conscientiousness, loyalty and patriotism. I am one of the older generations. I am one of the younger generations. I am a bridge for the future with the consciousness and values of the past. This is the time! Let us maintain and sustain the winning momentum.

Together, with your kind support, let us boldly step into and cement a progressive future of our great party, and nation. Let us place our country in its rightful place in the comity of nations, good governance starts with good politics. It is time for the era of politics of development and national prosperity.

Once again, my name is Saliu Mustapha, a consummate progressive by choice and a passionate patriot by conviction and I will be running for the office of the National Chairman of our great party. Thank you for your anticipated support, come February 2022, let us continue the winning culture.

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