C’ttee chair: Our interest is to grow party
As the All Progressives Congress (APC) commences membership registration and revalidation next week, the Caretaker/ Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee has warned against hijacking of the process by party leaders. Chairman of the committee and Governor of Yobe State, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, gave the warning why inaugurating the National Committee for Membership/Revalidation committee.
Speaking against the backdrop that some persons were planning to hijack APC’s membership registration ahead of the 2023 general election, Buni said: “Let me make it abundantly clear that the party would not condone any act of sabotage of denying anyone or group of persons from registering. The party would deal decisively with anyone or group who attempt hijacking the exercise. Everyone must be allowed and given the chance to register.
“The party has adequate back up materials to ensure a successful exercise and no one should be disenfranchised.” Explaining why APC was embarking on the membership registration and revalidation, Buni said: “As you are aware, the party had not had the opportunity of renewing its membership register since the initial registration exercise of 2014. The party had, in the last seven years, received millions of politicians who left other political parties and joined APC, but were not registered.
“Similarly, millions of youths who attained the age of 18 years and above who have joined the party within this period could not be registered. Again, others who had left the party still have their names in the register.
“The registration and revalidation exercise, therefore, provides the opportunity for both new and old members to register and update their membership in the party and for the party to expunge names of those who had left so as to have a clean and up to date membership register.”
On his part, Chairman of the Registration Committee, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State, said that APC’s interest is to grow the party beyond what it is before 2023. The governor, who stated this after the inauguration of the committee, said nobody should be afraid of anybody coming to register in APC. According to him, it would be presumptive for anybody to think that somebody would take over the party structure at whatever level if registered into the party. Bello said: “Our business is to grow our party, not to limit people. People make party; party does not make people. The more the merrier.
We shouldn’t get intimidated by the quality and calibre of the people joining our party because we feel that they will deprive us of some certain positions. That is left in the hands of God, but what is important is the success of the party at all elections and once we achieve that, there will always be a room for someone.
“We will take this assignment seriously, as we will swing into action.” Other members of the Committee are former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; ex-APC Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Lawal Shuiabu; former APC National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso; former APC Interim National Secretary, Alhaji Tijjani Musa Tumsah; Rotimi Fashakin, Wale Aboderin, Hon. Stella Oketete, and Hajiya Hassana Abdullahi. Senator John Akpan Udoedehe, the Caretaker Committee Secretary, would serve as Secretary of the Committee.
Fielding questions from journalists on his new assignment, the Niger State governor said: “We have to ensure that everyone that has interest or group is being registered. We have provided enough materials to be able to register everyone. It’s going to be a free, fair, transparent registration exercise and, at the end of the exercise, any willing person or group are free to come and register in the party.”
On sanctions for hijackers, he said: “The chairman spoke in strong terms against hijacking of party materials for registration. We are going to take disciplinary action and it’s going to be very severe for those found wanting. So, that is what we never tolerate and we won’t tolerate.”