What Does Saliu Mustapha Intend To Do Differently?

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I was bewildered yesterday watching a snippet from an interview of the APC Kwara Central Senatorial candidate, Mallam Saliu Mustapha whose campaign slogan is “Doing It Differently” as he plans to return the people of my constituency to the archaic era through the facilitation of the defunct MDGs projects if he emerges as a member of the tenth senate.

In a minute video recording, Mustapha reinforced the impression about the lack of ideological underpinning for his aspiration and cast a blot on his understanding of the functions of the office he seeks to occupy with the litany of blunders he regrettably committed, the principal of which, was the promise to attract the proscribed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) programs.

I have taken the liberty to enlighten him in a bid to forestall the possibility of such faux pas going forward. The MDGs which came to life in the year 2000, were launched by the global leaders at the United Nations as an initiative designed to combat poverty and for which eight goals were set to be achieved by 2015.

In tandem with this objective, the MDGs expired in 2015 and were replaced in September of that year by a new global framework for development: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs are a broader version of the expired MDGs which intended to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all the people enjoy peace and prosperity as projected by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA, 2015) “ SDGs seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what they did not achieve”.

As the world is evolving with the implementation of life-changing initiatives, Mr Mustapha must not seek to draw us back, hence the need for him to cast his net wide and acquaint himself with the programs that drive social, financial, and economic sustainability. If anything, the blunder shows the depth of his distance from the developmental plans and portrays him as a tenderfoot who will be learning on the job should he emerge victorious.

To appear knowledgeable of the crux of the legislative responsibilities, Mustapha claimed his first task would be to make laws but contradictorily, concentrated his idea of legislation on empowerment, glossing over the approach with which he would advance the frontiers of democracy and the kind of proposal he intends to push to elevate the well-being of the people and surmount the myriads of challenges besetting the country

Of course, no discerning mind would expect candidates to make unrealistic promises that are beyond the scope of the positions for which they are aspiring, but this does not restrict the electorates from setting standards to be met by their potential representatives. It beggars belief to see Solihu trying to cook up excuses for his impending failure to attract any meaningful development as a legislator, when the present occupant, Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe has through his office brought monumental projects to the state, ranging from Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Budo-egba, construction of NAFDAC zonal office, an outstation of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) and many more.

He may not be able to build a CBN branch as he claims but, if he knows his onion and understands the nitty-gritty of his office, he can facilitate its branch to the state as well as the aviation agencies and not necessarily alluding to the improbable building of an airport. Aside from the constraints, he placed on himself, several federal agencies have no branch in the state in which an adequately prepared candidate desirous of delivering outstanding service to the people would have evinced a commitment to initiating interventions and devising means to attract them to the state.

Why is Mustapha attempting to limit representation to empowerment despite the much-touted phrase “Doing it differently” he captured as the basis of his ambition? What are the kind of laws he seeks to propose to improve the circumstances of people’s lives? People want to know what he has to offer and how he intends to achieve them beyond the mere promises that nothing points to its possibility of being followed with concrete actions. If he would be doing things differently as he claims, he should avail people of the innovations and ideas he would be bringing to bear in representation.

With the plethora of blunders that riddled his brief interview, the reasons for his wide berth to public engagement can be credibly assumed. The people of Kwara Central should not be swayed by the rhetorics to hoodwink them for support. There is a need to size up the pedigree and intellectual capacity of the candidates in the bid to make informed electoral choices that will sustain the drive toward desired greatness of our senatorial district.

Abubakar Ismail writes from Ilorin

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