Hamza Al-Mustapha, former aide to the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, has described the 2023 general elections as an opportunity for Nigerians to look the way of political parties outside the big ones that had failed the people in the past.
In an Interview with BBC Hausa Service aired on Wednesday, Al-Mustapha who is the presidential candidate of the Action Alliance (AA), predicted that Nigerians would vote individuals this period instead of the usual political party.
How are you playing your own politics this time?
Election time is here. However, politics is played in different ways. Some do theirs openly while some play theirs behind closed doors. But for now, embargo on campaigns for 2023 elections is not lifted yet until September, 28, 2022.
But some political parties are directly or indirectly doing that in different forms/way
That’s correct but we must know that any political party that’s engaged in public campaign is simply breaking the sections of the electoral act as regards campaigns. Our party, AA, is a law abiding party and will continue to be so irrespective of what happened. We don’t violate the law, particularly electoral act, hence we have been quiet as regards election campaign.
What have you been doing then preparatory to the elections?
We have been having meetings and several consultations with people that matter to our party. People we think are important to the things that our party is doing. We are also wooing other people who we think can play a great role in our quest to achieve victory in the forthcoming general elections.
You recently paid a visit to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who is a PDP member. What was the reason for that visit?
Yes I paid a visit to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike. The visit was just to have a mutual discussion with him on national issues and other personal issues. Not only him, if we see someone that would be useful to us as a political party, we won’t hesitate to visit him or her. But to answer your question, the visit was for the good of Nigeria and its political system. That’s the much I can disclose to you now. Other things would be unfolded with time.
Are there plans to woo him into your party since he’s having issues with his party, PDP?
Nothing like that yet. However, time will tell. Remember that whatever is done in secret will always be revealed at a right time.
Some political parties are going into alliances to increase their victory chances in the forthcoming elections. Is your party thinking in that direction?
You should know by now that different political parties are doing their things their own way; things they think will favour them and increase their chances in the forthcoming general elections. They are doing their strategies and we are doing ours. We don’t necessarily need to make it public. All these while, we have not been making noise or saying things in the media in that regard but that does not mean we are not doing something. Whatever is useful and meaningful to one political party may be otherwise for the other political party.
Nigeria is faced with several challenges ranging from economic, security, unemployment and several others. As a presidential candidate, ain’t you afraid of these enormous challenges?
I am not and won’t be because the challenges have solutions. We have done several researches on issues that concern Nigeria and we are ready to tackle them because we have the template to do that. By the time we win election in February, 2023, and begin to implement our programmes, Nigeria and Nigerians would be better for it. Many of the acclaimed “big political parties” are banking on the wealth they might have acquired over the years they have been in government but they would be disappointed this time. Our hope and confidence are in the people. We have prayed God to do away with people who have no good intentions for the people of Nigeria.
Some Nigerians are looking at your party as a small one that can’t make significant impact. How will you compete with big parties like APC and PDP in the elections?
Things and times have changed. People might have voted for parties in the past but that won’t be the same this time. Nigerians are not looking the way of political parties. This is because they have suffered enough due to poor governance. The hardship in Nigeria has hit Nigerians hard that they are looking for solutions instead of relying on political parties, some of which inflicted the pains on them. This is not the time to say big or small party. I can confirm to you that our party is not as small as people are seeing it. In this coming elections, we would shock the big political parties who are banking on the wealth they might have “illicitly” acquired over time.
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