John Alechenu, Chukwudi Akasike, Samuel Awoyinfa, and Theophilus Onojeghen
Logistical challenges are hampering the planned All Progressives Congress’ continues nationwide membership registration/ revalidation, The PUNCH has learnt.
Investigations by our correspondents in some states of the federation on Sunday revealed that the exercise, which was scheduled to have started, had yet to take off on account of a yet to be explained logistical challenge.
A highly placed member of the party’s leadership told one of our correspondents in Abuja, on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, that the exercise had yet to start as a result of the challenge.
In response to a question if the registration and revalidation had commenced, the source said, “We’ve not started.”
In response to a question as to why it had not, he said, “We have some logistical challenges.
“You know we want computerised registration so that we capture people from where they are direct to our database instead of people going to fill forms before they are captured.
“We prefer to take advantage of modern technology. We are also making provisions for on-line registration but we are still upgrading our website.
“The first one was created by the former (National) Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, but then the man who took over from him (Bolaji Abdullahi), created another one and our Information Technology people said they had no link to the website. So, we are in the process of properly taking over the website and updating it.”
The immediate past National Legal Adviser of the APC, Muiz Banire SAN, while responding to inquiries on the issue by one of our correspondents, said via a text message, that he was not aware that the exercise had taken off anywhere.
In response to a question whether the exercise had commenced in his area and whether he had taken part, Banire said, “ I am not aware it has taken off anywhere. We don’t even have information on the process or modalities. (We are) awaiting directives from the National Secretariat.”
Also speaking on the issue, a former Deputy Governor in Ogun State, Senator Adegbenga Kaka, expressed hope that no party member would be denied the opportunity to be registered.
He suggested that the national headquarters should delegate officers to monitor the registration/revalidation process to ensure that the process was not used to disenfranchise party members.
Kaka said, “I am praying that no member of the state exco of the party will try to hoard registration materials.
“The registration that is being proposed is to accommodate all members and prospective members so that everyone will have a say in those the candidates of the party will be.
“I hope no one will disrupt or circumvent the laid down procedures. The National Executive Council of the party should send their representatives to the states, to ensure that there was no hoarding of registration materials.
“Anything short of that will amount to disenfranchising those people who might be denied registration.”
The Rivers State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr Chris Finebone, told one of our correspondents, “We are well-prepared; registration actually is an ongoing practice for any serious political party. In any case, time arises when some parties increase the momentum in registering their members. What our party is doing right now is an escalation of the (registration) process.
“Like I said, the registration of our members is a regular practice, but now, knowing what is ahead of us, we can only make it more robust.”
The factional chairman of the APC in Delta State, Prophet Jones Erue, said, “The party only said there would be registration, it hasn’t specified modalities. There’s going to be a NEC meeting where such modalities would be made public. For now, we don’t know how the exercise will be like. I don’t even have the authority to speak on it.”
When contacted, the acting National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr Yekini Nabena, said, “We have given instructions to our state chairmen, they all know what to do. The necessary materials have been given to them and I believe the process should have started.
“It is a continuous membership registration in areas where it has not started; it will definitely start before our party primaries. It is meant to update our membership register.”
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