2019: Kwara APC stakeholders warn against imposition of candidates
FEW days to primary elections of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara state, stakeholders of the party have cautioned party leadership against the imposition of candidates on the electorate.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Monday, one of the leading APC governorship aspirants in the State, Mallam Saliu Mustapha, said that foisting flag-bearers on the people would be counterproductive for the party that planned to unseat ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State.
TribuneOnline gathered that the warning came amidst speculations in some quarters that certain forces within the APC had perfected plans to sponsor an aspirant against the interest of others and impose him during the governorship primary of the party.
Mustapha, who had obtained the APC expression of interest and nomination forms for the governorship race, said that for the APC to emerge victorious during the forthcoming elections in the State, the party should follow the right path and allow the emergence of popular governorship candidate.
Mustapha, a former Deputy National Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), however, expressed optimism that the party would be just and fair to all aspirants vying for its ticket.
"We want to believe that APC as a party wants to come out victorious in the next general elections not just in other States but Kwara is one of the States they would like to clinch. Anybody that wants to win an election and with the past experience, would definitely follow the right path and allow the popular candidate to emerge. Because any self-imposition on the people would be counterproductive. Then, you are only assisting those you want to push out to remain in office.
"Sometimes, you hear a lot of rumours and speculations. One of the problems this country has gone through is that we live in speculations. Even leaders, sometimes, you find them to be speculative. Where people are supposed to be decisive and exhibit leadership, they live on speculations. For me, I’m in it. People outside might not feel the way I feel or know what I know. I know there is nothing like anybody would be imposed on us.
"Some weak aspirants have been name-dropping. Of course, we have leaders that wish us well in Kwara. But these leaders are also very careful and conscious of whatever is happening so they wouldn’t also do that mistake to want to impose unpopular candidate. Then what is their gain if they are also pushing hard to see that we win this election, especially in Kwara here? Why would they want to take a wrong step?
"For me in APC, we must be more strategic and more focused and look at what would make us win the election, not to always give room to some of these speculations, where some people would even go as far as raising a lot of allegations against each other. Be rest assured, there is nothing like that”, Mustapha said.
Fielding question on the allegation that he was a mole of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, in the APC, the governorship aspirant said he has always shared the political ideology of President Muhammadu Buhari and would not renege now.
"On a good day, I wouldn't want to even answer this question because the more we flog issue like this, the more we are giving readers the opportunity to… It is just unfortunate. People should try and look at my antecedents and where I am coming from before you make any allegation on my person.
"I have always shared the ideological conviction of the President (Muhammadu Buhari) and I have always believed in his political ideology. We started from the way back APP that later became ANPP. We got to a stage where we formed our own party, CPC, which I became the Deputy National Chairman. I was part and parcel of what we called APC today, how the merger came about and after the merger, we had people who migrated to the party from the new PDP and today they have left and I still remain in APC.
"So, some of us believe in our independence. We cannot just be seen jumping around because our own politics is based on principle and not people who migrate from one place to the other. Like the National Chairman said, people without a political address. We have an address and we don’t intend to change address every minute. So, I would want us to stop flogging this matter. Let us look at what is before us now, see how we can take Kwara to the next level and how we can fix Kwara to make it a better society for me, you, families and everybody,” he said.