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Akande faults APC on membership registration

…describes party’s caretaker c’ttee as abnormal
Ex-gov warns on 2023

The crisis in the All Progressives Congress (APC) seems to have no end as the interim National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, has faulted the membership registration and revalidation exercise of the party.

Akande, who spoke in his home town, Ila Orangun, Osun State, also faulted the formation of the Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee by the National Executive Committee (NEC), stating that it’s an abnormality. According to him, the membership registration of the party was not necessary, as the previous was less than a decade.

The former governor of Osun State said that the membership registration embarked by the Caretaker Committee would be tested with the 2023 election that would produce the successor of President Muhammadu Buhari. Akande, a former chairman of the APC National Reconciliation Committee put in place by the sacked National Working Committee (NWC) led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, advised the Caretaker Committee to avoid the temptation of sit-tight characterized with handpicked authorities.

The NEC, on June last year, constituted a 13-member Caretaker Committee for the party after sacking the NWC. The committee was given six months to conduct a National Convention to elect a new NWC. After few months, some party members started mooting the idea of tenure extension for the committee. And in December, NEC extended the tenure of the committee for another six months. However, before the tenure of the committee was extended, it went beyond the terms of references by reconciling some aggrieved members and decided to update the party’s membership register. The Caretaker Committee was criticized by some party members for abandoning its terms of reference and embarking on reconciliation and membership registration and revalidation exercise. One of the APC chieftains that had criticized the membership registration and revalidation exercise is a member of House of Representatives, Hon. James Faleke.

Faleke had written a personal letter to the Caretaker Committee Chairman and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, condemning the membership registration, citing COVID- 19 pandemic as one of the reasons. Some other chieftains of APC have also criticized the formation of Caretaker Committee and membership registration exercise. Akande, who played host to the Osun State registration Committee in his speech, yesterday, said: “A political party register, as distinct from population or voters’ register, is supposed to include the list of opinion leaders within a particular ideological orientation.

I feel humbled to have been honoured with a singular privilege of presiding over the creation of the original register of the APC. I am also proud and happy that the original party register so created was the foundation of all the structures that stimulated the movements that pushed the inept and corrupt PDP out of power; that have twice installed the present Muhammadu Buhari administration into the presidency of Nigeria; and, that preponderantly established the enviable hegemony of the APC party organisations and influences throughout Nigeria today.

“I feel more humbled and honoured today that the same party – the APC – singles me out for Membership Revalidation at this ceremony in my village home at Ila Orangun within this tiny corner of Nigeria.” However, Akande made observations about the process. His words: “Please, permit me to make two observations.

The first is that, in normal circumstances, a Caretaker Executive Committee for a political party is an abnormality. If not carefully controlled and expeditiously managed, most aberrant authorities end up in contempt and disgrace. For this reason, I want to urge the present APC Caretaker Executive Committee to resist all temptations of sit-tight syndromes that usually characterized most handpicked authorities in most underdeveloped countries of the world.

“The second is to say that no population census is repeated within less than a decade and that voters are not re-registered at every election. Within this context, I see the present APC membership registration within less than a decade after the original register as an indefensible aberration, leading to certain ugly perceptions.

“The first major perception is that APC already, having a well computerized register for an average of 100 leaders of similar ideological orientation per each of the more than 120,000 polling units across Nigeria, might be lacking comprehension and matrix of the modern day technology. The second major perception is that APC leadership might be wasteful and unappreciative of the proper use of money in a kind of scanty economy in which Nigeria now finds itself.

These seeming ugly perceptions put into abeyance the applause of the two national election successes that the original APC register enjoyed since its completion on 15th February, 2014 and the N1 billion of 2014’s value that the original register cost when APC had no money of its own.”

Akande stated that the test of ongoing APC membership registration and revalidation would be in the election of Buhari’s successor in 2023. “I want to emphasize and warn that the next national election that would elect a successor to President Buhari is going to be the most important test of the ongoing APC membership registration and whatever structure being envisaged to be imposed on it. It is my advice and prayer, therefore, that every sense of responsibility should be selflessly employed to make these efforts ultimately result in success for our APC,” he said.

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