Barr. Muhammad Bello Mustapha, a top chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who has shown interest in the race for the national chairmanship of the party has called on the APC leadership to adhere and honour the gentlemen’s agreement between stakeholders by shifting power to the south in 2023.
Mustapha, a constitutional lawyer stated this during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos on Monday.
The former Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) governorship candidate in Taraba State said it was agreed at the founding of the APC that power would rotate between the north and the south.
“The APC must stick with the zoning the party agreed upon from the inception between the north and south for peace and oneness, stressing that is the only way the party would survive beyond 2023.
“There was an understanding, which all of us are very much aware of when our party came on board in 2013/2014, that power should rotate between the north and the south. By power, I mean the presidency and the leadership of the party.
“So many of our elders and leaders made so many sacrifices to bring this party on board. People like us will never forget such sacrifices and we believe that the understanding that was entered into must be strictly adhered to.
“The presidency should return to the south, and the national chairmanship of the party should go to the north,” he said.
Speaking on his vision for the APC if elected chairman of the party, Mustapha, who was the pioneer national youth leader of The Buhari Organisation (TBO) and a member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council in 2019, noted: “I am coming to build an internal democracy, justice and equity to guarantee the party chances of winning at least 80 per cent in the future elections.
“This would ensure fairness among party members and their states, we cannot have a divided house but focus on the way forward to building a better Nigeria and her democracy.
“I have been persuaded to step down for two times and this has denied Taraba State the chance in the party at the national level. I don’t think APC would be fair to the state if party leaders come out to beg me to step down again.
“I have never failed in any of my responsibilities from students union to where I am. As a lawyer, building the party is just about fairness, equity and justice which are all I usually preach for.
“I would like the APC leaders and elders to have a rethink and give Taraba the chance to occupy the chairmanship position.
“It would even be fairer if the party decides that the position be given to me by consensus, having been loyal to the party and has stepped down for others in the past as pleaded by the party leaders and elders,” Mustapha submitted.
While appealing to Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s government in his fight against banditry and other criminal elements capable of dividing the country, the Taraba-born politician urged the youths to stand up and take over the affairs of the country.
“The youths make up more than 60 per cent of the population of this country, we must be actively involved in the affairs of this country and dictate what happens in this country come 2023.
“Our elders have done a great job; It is time they give the youths a chance to hold key positions in the party and the nation in general,” he concluded.
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