By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
A top contender for the chairmanship position of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Saliu Mustapha, has said that his mission to lead the ruling party, would be guided by the tenets of fairness, justice and equity.
Mallam Mustapha, who was the Deputy National Chairman (North) of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), disclosed this while fielding questions from journàlists in Abuja on his aspiration to emerge as APC chairman in the party’s National Convention slated for February 2022.
He said his administration would ensure listening ears to the party members, adding that under his watch, the APC will not be a cabal unto itself, but a party that will carry everybody along in the scheme of affairs and decision making.
“First and foremost, I want to see a party that promotes equity, fairness and justice. It is when you have a party of that sort that you are able to allow popular candidates emerge.
“Whent popular candidates emerge based on their merit, then you do not suffer the fear of election rigging. It is when you bring an unpopular candidate on board, then you start thinking of how to go and rig the general election.
“And when you rig the general election with bad products, the end result is bad governance or bad representation.
“So, I want to bring on board a party that will promote internal discipline, that will be held to account for their manifesto and their promises where you will have fairness, equity and justice so that we all can sit back at home and enjoy the dividends of democracy. And I want to also be able to bridge the gap”, he said while explaining what his objectives world be as APC Chairman.
Speaking on the crisis rocking the party especially in some States, including his own State, Kwara, Mustapha, said political parties are aggregation of storage bedfellows, but pointed out that his agenda is about managing everybody’s opinions, ideas or ideals.
He said the most important thing is to ensure that party faithful subject to the rules and norms of the party and adhere to the party manifesto as being preached as a promise to the people.
On what gives him an edge over other aspirants, the APC chieftain said “I believe I have the experience. I believe age is on my side. More importantly, I believe I have the goodwill and the administrative skills. Political party Administration is not an executive administrative work.
“As a political party administrator, the most important thing is for you to be able to accommodate everybody, for you to be able to give the listening ears and to be able to temper justice with mercy because you must have at the back of your mind that being a chairman of a party is not where it ends.
“The most important thing is for your party to be victorious and for you to deliver the dividends or the promises of your manifesto. So, like I said, I want to come on board to do things differently. Yes, APC has done well, but I believe there is room for improvement”, he said.
He also revealed his plans of keeping APC one by running open structures, saying doing such will discourage room for a lot of dissenting minds or voices.
“I always tell people sometimes, a political party administrator is somebody who gives people the listening ear, but an executive Governor, they tell him what he wants to hear. But the Chairman of a party, you must listen to what people want to say. Which is an attribute I believe I have”, he said.