MM: The Quintessential Long-Distance Runner
By Raheem Adedoyin
Honourable Moshood Mustapha, former Honorable Member of Federal House of Representatives, former Honourable Commissioner in Kwara State, astute politician and transnational businessman, attains the Diamond age today.
At 60, MM, as he is popularly known and called, is a dogged fighter with strategic patience. He is best described as a long-distance runner.
Hon. Mustapha was pivotal to the OtoGe revolution in Kwara State that swept away the long-existing political Leadership in that state. He, in fact birthed that political tsunami with a daring parallel congresses he organised during the primaries for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State in 2019.
He dared the then Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki (CON) who was then the political leader of the state and a national figure with tremendous clout. The parallel congress led to the exit of the Leader from the ruling party. The rest, as they say, is history.
You can see MM through his own lenses and more clearly through the lenses of his closely-knit family, devoted friends, political allies and business associates.
He is quick to let you know that as he celebrates his 60th birthday anniversary, his family remains the centre of his glory.
“I am privileged to attain the Diamond age. It has been a long journey. There are so many favours God has granted me. But the greatest are my kind of family, my kind of parents and my kind of children who are all doing very well.
“There is no success without a succession plan. God has been faithful to me, when you have children that give you joy, that give you pleasure, you are fulfilled. They never stress me. I thank God for good health. I am 60 but feeling 30.”
You never will find MM alone. If he is not surrounded by family members, he is in the company of friends and associates. He speaks glowingly about his friends and why he is comfortable with them.
“I am glad I have a rainbow of friends and a retinue of partners and associates. Having and keeping good friends is in-built. My mum used to say that people flocked around me at a very young age. I love to have people around me, very knowledgeable people. You can’t learn when you stay alone. You gain when you interact with different people. You learn from different people ”
MM has a reputation for being fearless but he shoots straight. No malice, no hatred. His political sojourn is marked with scars and but also with remarkable successes. He hopes to be a shining example to the younger ones.
“The most important thing in life is to deal with issues; listen more and talk less. This attribute I have imbibed since childhood.
“This birthday is a milestone; now, I am an elder statesman whom the younger generation looks up to for advice and guidance. I learnt from dad, the virtues of sincerity and openness.
“This has helped me in my political life. You can always know my position on any issue. We should not make politics a profession, it is an aberration to say you are a full-time politician. Politics should not be a do- or -die thing. Power is transient, it is time-lined. Politics is a vehicle for service to the people.”
An avatar in the OtoGe movement in Kwara State, he gives respect to his close political associates who became the cornerstone of his quest for the governorship of the state. The movement is called TeamMM whose members include former cabinet members, former National Assembly members and notable political stakeholders.
“Team MM is a movement beyond the bearer of the name, Moshood Mustapha. It was formed in 2017 in our quest for the governorship of Kwara State, in advancement of my governorship ambition.
“In Team MM, there are layers: Apex, Zonal, Local Government, Ward and Polling units. Team MM is the most formidable political group in Kwara State. It has the spread across the state. They sabotaged our movement in the 2019 APC governorship primaries but we are undeterred.
Despite some queer developments in the 2019 APC Primaries in Kwara State, MM resisted the pressures on him by refraining from taking legal action against the party.
“I didn’t take action that would have prevented APC from fielding a governorship candidate in 2019. We didn’t want to throw away the baby with the bath water. We would have had the Zamfara scenario play out in Kwara. Fortunately, our party’s candidate then who ended up being elected the Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq visited me in Abuja for electoral support and he met with our group at our Secretariat in Ilorin to also solicit for our support which we obliged. We campaigned vigorously for APC candidates to be elected.”
MM vaunts his devotion to APC and his fidelity to the party. He does not hide his support for the re-election of Governor AbdulRazaq.
“I am APC to the core. I am in politics because of the welfare of the people. Governor AbdulRazaq is working excellently for the people. So, it is easy for me to work for his re-election.”
MM was planning for a double celebration today for his Diamond birthday anniversary and for Governor AbdulRazaq’s re-election. Well, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has shifted the other leg of the celebration to 18th March.
For a cheerful giver whose philanthropic deeds are well- known, it is not surprising that a Foundation for the needy is underway.
The MM Foundation with a N100m seed money, will cater for the needy in the areas of education, healthcare, those in captivity (prisoners) etc.
Happy Birthday to the Man of the People.