Alhaji Moshood Mustapha is the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) chairman in Lagos State. Recently, he spoke to Daily Sun on some key issues affecting the party in the state, the voter’s registration exercise in the state and how PRP will win election in the state in 2019.
After your party’s convention in Lagos, what other moves have you made to reposition the party?
We have embarked on massive awareness drive to mobilise our people for the voter registration exercise. Remember that in the last general election, the PVC played major role in determining the winner of that contest. Those who had the card simply voted for their candidates while those without PVC were disqualified. So because of this, we decided to start early this time to mobilise our party members to go and update their voter’s card. Youths who are up to voting age are also encouraged to obtain their cards, by so doing we would be battle ready when elections begin next year.
What is your reaction to the election timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)?
It is a welcome development. It signals the beginning of another major exercise and a big opportunity for Nigerians to choose their new leader. Since the announcement, we have put machineries on ground to avoid been taken unaware. Since then we have held series of meetings with party elders and other stakeholders on how to make best use of the opportunity. Unlike last time that we couldn’t feature governorship candidate, this game will be different this time. We hope to field candidates in all the elective positions in the state. Presently, we are busy looking for quality candidates that we would field.
How would you describe the party under the leadership of your national leader, Alhaji Balarabe Musa?
Alhaji Balarabe Musa is a charismatic leader who believes in the interest of the masses. Since the second republic, he has been in the forefront championing the cause of the talakawas. He has always been on the side of the down trodden. When you look at his way of life and his political career, you will discover that he is not materialistic. It was these qualities that attracted me to him and I have no regret identifying with him. So far, He has been able to attract people of like minds to the party. At the national level the party is ready to work with any group or individuals who share the same ideology with the party in the interest of the country.
Why does your party want to take over from APC in Lagos state in 2019?
PRP want a true change in Lagos State because the masses are suffering. Many roads in the councils are in bad shape. From Badagry to Ojo, Epe and Ikorodu the story is the same. So when we capture power, we shall make road construction our primary goal. Agreed, the state government has tried a lot in the area of road maintenance, but they have done poorly in the area of construction of new roads. If you go to Lagos Island, Surulere and other urban area within the metropolis, roads are well maintained and even swept on daily basis. But you can’t say same of areas like Ajangbadi, or Okoko. So if we have the mandate to rule the state, we shall try our best to ensure that infrastructural development goes round.
In the area of security, my party will pay attention to state policing by improving on the Neighbourhood watch recently established in the state. The party will make sure that the presence of the security outfit is felt across the state.
What is your take on the call for restructuring?
For me it is long overdue. I would like the federal government to revisit the 2014 confab report because the recommendations of that conference already address issues of state creation, state policing, resource control and other problems facing the country. But recently, the federal government set up another committee to again look into the same issues. For me this is duplication of functions and I don’t see it taking us anywhere. So instead of taking us round barber chair, the FG should adopt and implement the 2014 confab report.
What is your take on the incessant attacks by Fulani herdsmen in the country?
It is already taking frightening dimension. From one state to another, you hear cases of attacks by these marauders who claimed to be herdsmen. The response of FG has been slow. It is time the federal government addresses the problem once and for all in order to save life and properties. For me, it is not about ethnicity or religion but respect for human lives. So these so-called herdsmen should be disarmed and restricted to grazing fields and not farmlands.
Also, Ministry of Agriculture should map out strategy to contain food shortages that may result from the clashes. Such proactive measures would go a long way to forestall outbreak of famine in the affected states.