Ahead of the national convention of the All Progressives Congress, a coalition, the Conference of Northern Nigeria Revitalisation Group, has endorsed the aspiration of Saliu Mustapha as the National Chairman of the party.
Mustapha, an ally of the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), was Deputy National Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change before the party fused with three other parties to form the APC.
The legacy parties that fused to form the APC were the Action Congress of Nigeria, the All Nigeria Peoples Party and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance led by Senator Rochas Okorocha.
Among other aspirants are Senator Tanko Al-Makura; a former governor of Bauchi, Isa Yuguda; Senator Danjuma Goje; Senator George Akuma; Senator Sani Musa; and Abdul-Azeez Yari.
In a communique issued to newsmen shortly after the coalition meeting in Kaduna, they noted that Mustapha possessed the leadership qualities as a youth to lead the party beyond 2023.
The communique was signed by Isah Abubakar of the Northern Youths Council of Nigeria and Salihu Danlami of Arewa Youth Assembly and titled, ‘APC Convention: Northern Nigeria CSOs rally support for Saliu Mustapha, describe him as first-generation Buharist.’
The group argued that the 49-year-old Turakin Ilorin has the age and zeal to propel the party to greatness after the tenure of the president in 2023, noting also that Mustapha had no record of facing corruption before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The group further said that before zeroing down on the aspirant, it had taken Mustapha’s political antecedents as well as his public life into consideration.
According to the group, it is against this backdrop that we urged APC stakeholders, including the President to trust Saliu Mustapha with their mandate.
The communique read, “As the youngest of the major aspirants, Mustapha will bridge the gap between the older presidential hopefuls and youths who constitute over 50% of the voting population. This will consolidate the winning ways of the party.
“He has no baggage associated with the murky waters of political office as such, he is not a regular guest of the EFCC like some of the contenders for the party’s top job.
“This makes him a good Ambassador of President Buhari anti-corruption focus of the administration. Mustapha is also best placed as a first-generation Buharist to oversee the Buhari legacy after the President leaves office in 2023. He is the only aspirant with practical experience of party administration among the contenders.”