By Ibrahim Sheriff
The Turaki of Ilorin and Kwara Central Senatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mallam Saliu Mustapha has explained why he decided to contest to represent the people of Kwara Central at the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly, after his failed attempt to clinch APC National Chairmanship.
Mustapha, during a media parley with the Association of Kwara state Online Media Practitioners said his decision to run for Senate was hinged on the call by his people who believed he can also add value more value to his community in a better way, if elected as a Senator.
In his words, the former Deputy National Chairman (North) of defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) said “Politically, APC is my constituency. I actually wanted to be APC National Chairman because I believed I could add value in the leadership of the Party but at a point, we we were told by party leaders to step down for some other candidates. As a party man, I accepted that in good faith.”
“But immediately after the consensus at the National Convention of our Party, my people came calling that I can also add value to my immediate community as their Senator, which I gladly accepted after due consultations”, he added.
Mustapha, who acknowledged the outstanding performance of incumbent Senator Ibrahim Yahyah Oloriegbe however said posited that no one has monopoly of performance and said he believed Kwara Central deserve better representation, which he (Mustapha) is willing to deliver.
“Yes, the incumbent Senator has done excellently well, in fact, he is outstanding among the Kwara contingent. However, we can always have it better. If we think the best we have currently cannot be surpassed, it means we are in a docile community.
“I want to see how I can enhance ease of doing business, empower more people and facilitate infrastructural development. I’ll strive hard, deploy my national connections and goodwill to attract great things to the state”, he added.
Mustapha who said he is a player in the mining sector said he would leverage on his experience to see how Kwara state can properly harness opportunity in mining, noting that “mining is the fastest way of bringing development to the society, it will create jobs, lead to infrastructural development, grow small businesses and building of new settlements.”
Speaking on the outcome of the APC Primaries, Mustapha described the APC Senatorial Primary election for Kwara Central as free, fair and credible; adding his emergence as candidate is attracting many political gladiators to APC.”
He added that “This is democracy, we have to demonstrate sportsmanship. I contested Kwara Governorship in 2019, I was disqualified but I did not challenge the process. I also gave in to the consensus arrangement at APC National Convention as a party man because I don’t believe in ‘it must be me’ syndrome.”
“If an individual is the only one complaining, you should look at that individual and not his complaints. However, he is one of us. We still need him. He (Sen. Oloriegbe) has performed excellently and the records are there but we believe we deserve better.”