As the membership registration and revalidation exercise of the All Progressives Congress (APC) begin, the Publicity Sub-Committee of the Contact and Mobilisation Committee headed by Governor Yahaya Bello, has called on Nigerians, especially women and the youths, to see the exercise as a golden opportunity to register and own the ruling party.
The Publicity Sub-Committee also praised the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) headed by governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State for its reconciliation of the crisis in many states, especiallythe Zamfara State chapter, saying it was not in doubt that Rivers, Imo and Kwara would equally be reconciled.
The Sub-committee spoke Sunday in Abuja through its Secretary, Osita Okechukwu, who is also the Director General Voice of Nigeria.
In a statement signed by Okechukwu, urged all Nigerians to register, own and transform the APC into the foremost truly progressive political party in Nigeria.
The Sub-Committee recalled that the registration and revalidation exercise became imperative primarily because the party’s quest to construct a National Data Membership Register was aborted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“When the PDP failed in all manner of antics to desperately stop our registration by INEC, in 2013, ignobly stimulated the Department of Security Service (DSS) to demolish our data center in Lagos. Hence the good efforts made by our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the onset in building a data center was regrettably smashed by the DSS. Today we could have had accurate National Data Membership Register.”Okechukwu said.
“Accordingly, we are of the candid view that the registration and revalidation exercise embarked upon by the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) led by His Excellency, M.M.Buni, Governor Yobe State, has once more offered Nigerians the fresh and golden opportunity to register, own and transform the APC into truly the foremost progressive political party in Nigeria. Sincerely, we call on all Nigerians, especially youths and women to register and own the APC.”
The statement noted that President Buhari had laid the solid foundation for promotion of the doctrine of internal democracy and people’s ownership of the APC during his revalidation at Daura. Mr President gave life oxygen to Section 7(viii) of the APC’s Constitution, which states interalia, “To promote and uphold the practice of internal democracy at all levels of The Party’s organisation.”
The Publicity Sub-Committee further implored all Nigerians to adhere to the admonition of President Buhari who said, “No more crowning from Abuja downward. Let the people know this and appreciate it that they are in charge of their constituencies and they are in charge of the party. Without any incentive they must come out and defend the party at any level so that we, you and the party will feel secure and comfortable because the old-time of putting hands in the pocket is over because the money is no longer available.”
The statement reaffirmed that the era of Godfatherism was coming to an end in the APC, stressing that “the strategy is to get Members to pay to register and subsequently pay annual dues to sustain and make choices in their Polling Units and Wards.
“It is participatory democracy at work. Now APC is going to be owned by members who are the real stakeholders and not Godfathers. Please don’t just sit down somewhere and agonise on how poor your country is being governed when here is a golden opportunity for you to join, own and be part of the broom which is sweeping the country and providing uncommon infrastructural and agricultural revolution.”
On the states where there are crisis, the Sub-Committee advised that there was no need to quarrel over registration and revalidation exercise.
“The only valid election at the Ward level is the Ward Exco, three LGAs delegates and five State delegates. These intra-party elections are among brothers and sisters. It is direct primary elections which take place in a communal environment and once in four years. Therefore, there is no cause for alarm.”
Okechukwu expressed happiness that the Buni CECPC has done very well in the reconciliation exercise it has embarked upon, especially that of Zamfara.
“If the thorny issue of Zamfara can be reconciled we have no doubt other states like Kwara, Rivers and Imo States will be reconciled. At any rate there is nothing to fight over registration, for it is not only among brothers and sisters, but the more registered members in a ward, the more the merrier. If you register 1,000 members in a Polling Unit, you are better and richer than a Polling Unit with 100 members. For in the new a APC, no Godfatherism, as members are the owners of the party, by paying for registration and subsequently paying annual dues.”