APC membership registration: Showdown In Lagos as Tinubu’s foes set for battle


Gladiators try to outdo one another, control party register By Omeiza Ajayi

Ahead of the APC membership registration and revalidation which starts on Tuesday, February 9, political gladiators in the nation’s ruling party are squaring up to again test their relevance.

From Kwara to Lagos, Zamfara to Enugu or Rivers, political actors are reportedly scheming to outdo their rivals and take control of the party register when at the conclusion of the exercise.

While the party recently reconciled some of its members across the states, the situation in Zamfara remains dicey. Just last week, former Governor Abdulaziz Yari and Sen. Kabir Marafa embraced reconciliation, but reports indicate that some of their supporters are spoiling for a showdown.

Also, there have been grumblings by some chieftains of the party who had continued to allege that the current register of party members is centralised in the hands of a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who has sole access to membership data.

However, the party has dismissed concerns that the registration exercise is targeted at any individual.

“Our focus is to strengthen the party through a bottom-up approach and to carry everyone on board, while those aggrieved have happily rejoined APC just as new ones have joined the party”, said Gov. Mai Mala Buni who chairs the APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC.

According to him, the membership registration and revalidation exercise is a constitutional provision which is part of the strategic measures taken by the committee to give existing and new members a sense of belonging.

“Since the initial exercise in 2014, the party has not registered new members nor update the personal information of our existing members as provided for by the constitution.

“The registration exercise gives our new members a sense of belonging and the existing members will update their information while those who left the party will have their names removed from the party register” he said.

Governor Buni said the registration and revalidation exercise would assist the party to generate a valid, accurate and upto date data on party membership to enhance and support its planning process.

Ahead of the commencement of the All Progressives Congress, APC registration and validation of membership exercise, attention was this week being put on Lagos State, the base of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, the national leader of the party.

The focus on Lagos was against the background of claims that the exercise was mainly being conducted to checkmate Tinubu who is generally acclaimed to have supervised the 2014 registration exercise and has the membership data in his custody.

As at press time party chieftains were yet to affirm when the exercise would commence in Lagos following what was claimed as logistic issues that derailed the training programme for the officials that are supposed to conduct the registration exercise.

The training which was supposed to commence from Thursday could not start on that day and sources claimed it could start at the weekend following which the registration exercise would commence

The botch in the training programme is only one of several issues that have dogged the registration/revalidation exercise for party members particularly in Lagos State.

That was after futile efforts by party chiefs from Lagos to defer the exercise, the last being last week’s open letter by Rep. James Faleke to the National Caretaker Committee.

Faleke had argued that conducting the registration exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic would worsen the health crisis in the country, an argument the party quickly quashed by vowing to uphold safe distancing protocol during the registration exercise.

Upon the apparent determination of the national headquarters to ensure the registration exercise goes ahead, party chiefs in Lagos have taken their fate in their hands, albeit with strong reservations.

As a senior party chieftain told Saturday Vanguard, “you heard Baba Akande? Is it not a waste of money? Which party goes to do registration exercise when we just did one few years ago?”

Interestingly for the first time in a long while, Tinubu is being challenged in his base to the extent that the camp is for the first time deploying strategies against once loyal followers now risen up against him.

The opposition to Tinubu Saturday Vanguard gathered is being championed by the Lagos4Lagos Movement led by Abdulazeez Adediran, a well known associate of Babatunde Fashola.

Saturday Vanguard gathered from multiple sources that Fashola is totally out of the loop in the game against Tinubu despite the fact that Adediran is popularly known as a friend and an associate of his family.

READ ALSO: APC membership revalidation, scam – PDP

Adediran it was also gathered has a well established linkage with erstwhile chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler.

As part of the attempts against Tinubu it was gathered that the Lagos4Lagos Movement working in cahoots with the Faoud Oki led faction of the Lagos State APC was through this week mobilizing its supporters to infiltrate the party by turning up for the registration.


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