The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has continued its ongoing national registration and revalidation exercise despite the objections of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State and national leader of the party, and Bisi Akande, former governor of Osun and interim national chairman of the party.
Akande had on Thursday criticised the ongoing membership registration and revalidation exercise, describing it as wasteful. He also hit hard at the party’s National Caretaker Committee headed by Yobe State governor, Mai Bala Buni, saying the committee was an abnormality.
The former governor of Osun State, who spoke to the party delegation led by Senator Lawan Shuiabu, registered him at his Ward 04, Unit 012, Isedo1, Ila-Orangun, Osun State. He said the caretaker committee must desist from the temptation to want to sit tight in office.
He had said: “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 characterise most hand-picked authorities in most underdeveloped countries of the world.”
He also criticised the fresh registration, saying it was a wasteful exercise when the party had a well-computerized register that could be updated to take advantage of new technology if the need arose.
Akande also questioned the wisdom in compiling a fresh register when the last one was not up to a decade, arguing that even the national census was not conducted that way.
Many who said Akande spoke Tinubu’s mind were proven right at the weekend when he (Tinubu), while addressing journalists at his Ikoyi residence in Lagos, said he endorsed Akande’s position because he hadn’t heard a situation whereby the party’s register submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the time of the APC registration had been invalidated.
Speaking with our correspondent, a member of the Caretaker Committee said while the points made by Tinubu and Akande were well noted, nothing was going to stop the registration process.
He also said while the committee won’t join issues with the two party leaders, they would have appreciated it if both of them had written to the party secretariat to register their objections rather than addressing the media on it.
“Yes, their complaints are noted but I can’t tell you if it is genuine or not. To me, it is not criticism, it is just advice which the party will look into, maybe after the whole exercise and deliberate on the next step. That will not in any way stop the registration and validation exercise.
“President Buhari, who is the number one leader in the party, has registered. Even Asiwaju, who is our national leader and Papa (Akande) also registered. It would have been a different thing if they had said they were not going to register based on their observations. So, nothing is going to stop the exercise,” he said.
Also speaking, Director General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, PGF, Salihu Lukman, has advised against handing over the membership register of the APC to any chieftain of the party, warning of grave undemocratic consequences.
Lukman, in a statement on Sunday, in Abuja, said it must be emphasised that in all the debates leading to the current membership registration/ revalidation exercise of the APC, no one had disputed the current membership register of the APC.
“The emphasis has been that it should be updated to delete names of members who have left the party and register new members. In addition, the register should be domiciled in the National Secretariat of the party and not with individual leaders of the party.
“Having the membership register in the custody of individual leaders, especially when such leaders are being speculated to have ambitions for electoral contests, is problematic”.