Why I want to be APC National Secretary – Mustapha
One of the major contenders for the office of the National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammad Bello Mustapha has said he was not in the race for the APC national Scribe to get appointment, but to help create a formidable secretariat for the party.
Mustapha also asked the national leaders of the party to fulfil the promise they made to him during the party’s national convention that saw him stepping down from the race for the former National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni.
The office of the National Secretary of the APC is current vacant following the election of the former occupant as the governor-elect of Yobe state.
Mustapha alleged that during the national convention of the party in June 2018, leaders of the party prevailed on him to step down from the race assuring him that he will be richly rewarded.
Mustapha told The Nation in Abuja on Thursday that he agreed to step down from the race for the National Secretary after the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and some other leaders assured him the when Buni is elected governor, he will become the next National Secretary.
He insisted that he has made so much sacrifice for the party, dropping his ambition at every interval he is asked to do so, saying “in 2014, I contested for the position of National Secretary and was asked to step down and I did. When Babachir Lawal left as National Vice Chairman, North East, I wanted to contest and again I was asked to step down and I did.
“Again, in June, during the convention, five of us bought form to contest the National Secretary position. I was asked to step down and I refused. But out respected National Leader, Asiwaju Tinubu prevailed on me and assured me that I will be given the position when Buni is elected and I agreed. I was the last to step down from the race and that was after several states have voted at the convention.
“I am not in the race for the National Secretary position because I want appointment. I want to head the Secretariat of the party and bring my wealth of experience to bear. I am qualified lawyer who has worked as Company Secretary before. So I have the experience that is needed for that position.”
Reminded of the interest of other contenders especially from the Borno/Yobe axis with the likes of Kashim Imam and Arch. Waziri Bulama holding the upper hand, Mustapha said “the position is zoned to the North East and not to Borno or Yobe states.
“Of all the states in the North East, it is only my state, Taraba that has never had a representation in the National Working Committee. The highest position we have had is the position of Zonal Youth Leader. For the sake of equity, I think Taraba state should be allowed to produce the National Secretary.
“Borno and Yobe have always claimed everything coming to the North East and I believe this should not be the case. We are part of the one and should be given a sense of belonging. That is why people from Borno and Yobe state should not even be showing interest in the position. If you look at it, we, In Taraba dont even have a minister in this government.
He said expressed optimism that leaders of the party in the north east will do the needful and allow him become the National Secretary since he has gone round all to inform them of his ambition, but was emphatic that he would rather lose the position in a free and fair contest than to step down again for any other candidate.
“When the position of National Vice Chairman, North East became vacant, the called all of us and we agreed for a consensus candidate. That was how Comrade Salisu got the position. I believe there should be a consensus in my favour also. But if that is not possible, I would prefer that we go to the poll. I am confident that I will emerge winner at the poll to become the National Secretary.”