I know Barrister Mohammed Bello Mustapha to be a Buharist right from the birth of Buharism as a political ideology in 2002. He was the number one “errand boy” in The Buhari Organisation (TBO) secretariat at Gana Street, Maitama, before it relocated to Ahmadu Bello Way, Abuja. He served in the TBO along side eminent personalities like late AVM Mukhtar Mohammed, Alhaji Sule Yahaya Hamma, Engr Buba Galadima, Mr. Sam Ndah Isaiah, Hajiya Naja’atu Bala Mohammed among others. Barrister Mustapha was the youngest in the secretariat, hence he was the National Youth Leader of TBO, while Hajiya Naja’atu was the National Women Leader. These people were the first set of promoters of Buharism as a political ideology in Nigeria. From All People’s Party (APP), to All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), to Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), to All Progressives Congress (APC), Barrister MB Mustapha remains a loyal Buharist.
Barrister Mustapha was the originator of the whole idea of merger between the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and other political parties, particularly the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), having tried time and again since 2003, but failed to deliver our leader Muhammadu Buhari to the presidency. He, together with Senator Abu Ibrahim initiated the famous “Significance of the Buhari/Tinubu Ticket” in the run off to the 2011 General Elections. He published several op-ed articles in the print media, and he was a regular feature on television and radio programmes in 2010, advancing the Buhari/Tinubu Ticket. It was later conceived in 2014 after the merger, though failed to scale through.
I was a vehement opposer of any political marriage with the South West, because of the historical political hostility the region maintained with the North. I never thought there was going to be a successful merger between the two, without hitches. I was proven right at that time (2011), with the failure to reach accord between Buhari and Tinubu, over who was to be Buhari’s running mate. PMB had chosen Pastor Tunde Bakare. While the South West had a different man on its mind. Everything crumbled at the end, and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan seized the golden opportunity. In 2015 however, the merger became reality, to my great surprise.
Barrister Mustapha contested and won the CPC Gubernatorial Primary Election in his State of Taraba, and became candidate of the CPC in 2011, only for his name to be controversially substituted with that of his opponent, Ahmad Gamalia. The circumstances of his substitution, the court cases that followed are topics of their own.
In 2014 he contested for the position of the National Secretary of the newly born All Progressives Congress (APC), alongside Kashim Ibrahim Imam during the party’s Maiden Convention. But he was prevailed upon by the Northeast leaders, elders and stakeholders to step down for Kashim Imam during a meeting called at the instance of the then governor of Adamawa State Murtala Nyako, and attended by virtually all stakeholders including the former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Kashim Imam himself, was later asked to step down for an obscure Mai Mala Buni, the current governor of Yobe State, who did not even purchased the form at that time.
Again, Barrister MB Mustapha, as he is fondly called, was asked to step down for Comrade Mustapha Salihu in the 2017 APC Replacement Excercise after the exit of Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Engr Babachir David Lawal by the same Northeast Stakeholders. Yet again, he obliged them. At both instances, he was promised “juicy” compensations that are yet to be fulfilled.
Yet, during the 2018 APC Convention, Barrister Mustapha contested for the same position of National Secretary. The outcome was set to favour him, but he was again prevailed upon by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Senator Ahmed Lawan, (now president of Nigeria’s Senate). The pressure from the duo came after failed attempts to cajole him into abandoning his ambition by the Rochas Okorocha Committee set up by the Presidency to meet and ask all other aspirants to step down for Mr. Buni again, in the interest of the harmony of the party.
With the departure of Mai Mala Buni, the position of the National Secretary is now filled in acting capacity by Victor Giadom. Mr. Victor’s tenure as Acting National Secretary has been renewed twice, and had expired since.
The APC is today run like a one man show. No substantive National Secretary. Deputy National Chairman North, Senator Lawal Shu’aibu has been suspended. Deputy National Chairman South, Mr. Niyi Adebayo has been appointed minister. His position is still vacant. National Vice Chairman North West, Inuwa Abdulkadir has expelled from the party. National Auditor Mr. George Moghalu has been appointed as Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority. His position is still vacant.
The APC, and its garrison National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole should look inward, and save the dying soul of the party. Barrister Mohammed Bello Mustapha is one hell of a loyal party member, who ought not to be treated this way.
House of Reps Aspirant in the 2019 APC Primary Election, Katagum Federal Constituency,