Mallam Saliu Mustapha was born on 25th September 1972 to the humble family of Alhaji Issa Mustapha, a well respected indigene of Ilorin East Local Government Area, Kwara State.
Mallam Saliu Mustapha is an extremely competent politician of note who is driven by a belief in the need for purposeful and progressive leadership. For him the basic concept of social justice must be at the core of all vital decision making policies that will ultimately impact on the lives of the people. A highly principled man of good character and undeniable integrity his discipline and intuitive sense of equity, ethics and good governance has seen his rapid rise to the top of his profession in addition to significant accomplishments in other unrelated sectors. Propelled by an innate sense of duty and responsibility it was only natural that this exceptional and worthy son of Kwara State would ultimately live a life exemplified by service and dedication to others.
After many years as a practical student of the political terrain under the outstanding guidance and tutellage of none other than His Excellency President Mahammadu Buhari, Mallam Mustapha formally embarked upon a life of public service when as an idealistic young man he served as an Aide to the Senior Special Adviser to President Obasanjo on Intra Party from 2001-2002. By 2002 he was already the Protem National Publicity Secretary of the Progressive Liberation Party (PLP) after which in 2003 he became the First National Chairman of Progressive Action Congress (PAC). A remarkable feat for such a short length of time. In addition he was a highly respected and valued member of The Buhari Organization (TBO) as well as a member of the ANPP Presidential Campaign in 2003 for the then General Muhammadu Buhari.
In 2005 Mustapha was appointed as the Organizing Secretary of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP). He also played an active role in ANPP as an Aide to General Muhammadu Buhari during his Presidential Campaign in the 2007 election. Mallam Mustapha served as a National Ex-Officio of the Congress for Progressive Change from where he rose impressively to the position of Deputy National Chairman of Congress for Progressive Charge (CPC) from 2010 to year 2014.
As a result of his deep and abiding passion and determination to support growth and positive change in Nigeria, Mustapha naturally became a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) following the merger of numerous political parties of which his party the CPC was a major player. It is here that he continues to contribute significantly by promoting policies and programmes of the APC both at State and Federal levels. Notwithstanding his level of exposure Mustapha’s heart remains firmly with his people and that bond is what continually guides his decision making process. His trajectory is at all times intrinsically intertwined with the growth of his community and his personal success is only meaningful where it is involves the upliftment of his people.
With an easy and amiable mien, this effortlessly charismatic politician is a popular and charming individual well loved wherever he goes. A man of strong morals his reputation for honesty, patience, humility and generosity precedes him. His is a life characterised by discipline and values as well as a firm and unflinching belief in the paramount importance of service to humanity. A man of uncommon empathy Mallam Saliu Mustapha is a philanthropist per excellence, whose humanitarian gestures and antecedents traverse Ilorin, his immediate community, across the entirety of Kwara State where he continues to positively impact peoples’ lives. This is achieved in the main through community interventions by way of Educational and Health programmes, trickling all the way down to the provision of basic amenities as well as infrastructural development and direct financial assistance where necessary. The informal sector is not left out as countless groups of artisans and petty traders are massively supported with aid to reinforce and bolster their businesses. He is also widely respected as a inspirational youth mentor. Without fanfare he has quietly initiated many noteworthy and commendable programmes designed to guide, encourage and harness the full potential of these young people whose contributions he recognises as being of paramount importance to the life blood of the nation.
Mallam Saliu Mustapha’s intuitive understanding of the significance of education in the economic and social development of our society led to his special interest and focus on the need for a massive and empowering boost to our educational sector. To this end he has invested a great deal of time, energy and personal resources in supporting this sector including but not limited to partnering with the state government in this regard. He commendably seeks to change the narrative by placing special emphasis on the girl child who has historically been at a disadvantage. He is mindful of the fact that funding from the state and federal government’s alone cannot adequately provide the requisite quality and standard of education and that the private option is not within reach for a majority of the less privileged. Mallam Mustapha firmly believes that the challenges typically arising from inadequacies in the health and socio- economic and socio-political spheres of our lives can be greatly curtailed with the provision of adequate funding and the effective monitoring and dispersement of such funding. Indeed without the requisite reforms in the educational sector no one can provide or guarantee any appreciable sustainable development in any sector no matter how well intentioned.
Mallam Saliu Mustapha remains resolutely determined to give the educational sector the much needed assistance. This has most recently been reflected in the laudable and progressive interventions of the Saliu Mustapha Foundation. A quick perusal of the wide ranging charitable projects and activities recently initiated by the Saliu Mustapha Foundation include but are not limited to the following:
In pursuance of his pledge, the Foundation has since 2012 organised tutorials and periodically purchased JAMB forms for intending candidates who would otherwise be unable to afford such fees. The Foundation has also made countless monetary donations to petty business traders across the state to grow and support their businesses. Today some of them have paid it forward by now equally empowering others. In the same vein the Foundation built bore holes in communities across the state to provide them with potable drinkable water. All these projects were deliberate acts borne of the founder’s belief that community development is indeed a collective responsibility.
In April 2018 Mustapha donated a considerable sum of money towards the construction of a block of classrooms for a reputable and respected Islamic scholar’s Madrasah. He also awarded cash scholarships to one hundred and fifty final year students in tertiary institutions across Kwara state and gave charity to widows and elderly women in May 2018. A longtime champion of women’s rights he is also a strong proponent of affirmative action as well as an advocate for supporting rural women through small and medium grants.
In June 2018, Mallam Mustapha, a devout Muslim likewise kindly donated a generous amount to Division One of the Ansarudeen Society of Nigeria in his customary show of support for the Islamic community.
Again in August 2018, due to his love of the pursuit of knowledge Mallam Saliu Mustapha, a renowned philanthropist gave out a one million Naira cash price to the deserving participants comprising of students, teachers as well as the schools who emerged winners at the first ever English Language and Mathematics Competition in Kwara state which was organized by the Saliu Mustapha Foundation.
Likewise in celebration of the first ever ceremonial Durbar in the Ilorin Emirates, Mustapha donated two pure white thoroughbred horses to support the festival which also took place in August 2018. They were also presented as a mark of respect to His Royal Father the Emir of Ilorin Alhaji Ibrahim Zulqarnain Gambari.
He also donated handsomely to the Ilorin Emirate Youth Development Association towards its recently commissioned ICT Center. The Kwara State Association of Persons With disabilities has also equally benefited from his charitable largesse. He has pledged to always endeavour to encourage and uplift them as best he can.
Mallam Saliu Mustapha is an unquestionably fine politician with a strong base at the grassroots to lean on. A simple and unassuming man he remains resolutely determined to bring succour to his people. His humanitarian efforts give us a clear insight into the strong and impressive empathy he feels for his people. His principles and sense of honour and probity have earned the trust and respect of his peers and mentors alike. Taken in conjunction these sterling qualities have endeared him to the hearts of the common folk in whom he has found unalloyed support and they a listening ear and an open door policy. Mallam Saliu Mustapha remains that rare and enigmatic breed of politician that Kwara State needs at this critical moment in it’s history in order to forge war against perennial underdevelopment and salvage and secure the future for generations yet unborn. He is an inspirational figure whose credentials and record of service to date are untarnished and exemplary. Indeed he brings a commensurate level of energy and commitment to all his endeavours, notwithstanding any obstacles or complications that may arise.
A fervent believer in the importance of maintaining traditional and religious family values he is happily married and blessed with children. Mallam Mustapha speaks a variety of Nigerian languages fluently; namely Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and Okun.
By Ishowo Yakub.