By Demola Akinyemi, Ilorin
The All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in the 2023 Kwara Central Senatorial election, Mallam Saliu Mustapha, has said that he’s fully prepared to drastically reduce poverty in the area through expanded empowerment initiatives and also provide greater access to employment opportunities, as well as vocational and entrepreneurial trainings.
Former National Chairmanship aspirant of APC added that he’ll bring succour to his people through legislative reforms and other development based policies if elected senator next year.
Mustapha said this in Ilorin while making clarifications on the reason for his absence at the debate organised by the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Kwara state.
He said, “We will Reduce poverty through expanded empowerment initiatives and provision of greater access to employment opportunities, as well as vocational and entrepreneurial trainings.
“We will develop the human capital assets of our communities through deliberate policies and initiatives that elevate the fortunes of our people
“All of these things and more are on my agenda, not because they are politically expedient, but because I am determined to help improve the lot of my people.”
“If I have consistently done what I could for our people and communities for nearly two decades through my non-profit organisation, the Saliu Mustapha Foundation, I am optimistic that I will have even greater impact as an elected representative of the people.”
Mustapha further explained that his agenda rests on four cardinal points which are advocating for laws and reforms, collaborating with the Kwara State Government and reducing poverty through expanded empowerment initiatives.
According to him, his mission to the national assembly will be to initiate and promote laws and reforms that seek the betterment and improvement in the welfare, wellbeing and security of my constituents.
He also promised synergising with the Kwara State Government colleagues in the legislature, the traditional and religious leadership and indeed elites to influence and lobby rapid development of communities within the constituency.
Mallam Mustapha, a legend in philanthropy, is widely seen by pundits as a strong contender in the upcoming polls also on account of his wide grassroots base and also being a pillar of the ruling party both at the state and the national level.
The political debate was attended by Bolaji Abdullahi, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Dr Ridwan Idowu Apaokagi, of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, and Mallam Sulaiman Akanbi, candidate of the Labour Party.
The event had yielded critical soundbites from the party candidates but the absence of Mustapha was conspicuous.
According to a letter addressed to members of the Correspondent Chapel, Mustapha explained that he is unavoidably outside the country at the moment on matters of great significance.
He added that vigorous attempts to ensure that he was present at the debate, an event he has looked forward to with great anticipation on Monday proved unsuccessful.
Though Mustapha had earlier written to the chairman more than a week earlier warning of his likely absence at big debate in Ilorin, the APC chieftain said that there is need to again reiterate his great pains at missing the event.
“I had made great effort to adjust my tight schedule abroad, but all attempts to ensure my physical presence at this morning’s debate were unsuccessful.”
He also apologised to the members of the chapel, the distinguished audience and his counterparts from other political parties.