BEING TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS OF THE APC IN KWARA STATE.
Gentlemen of the press.
We have invited you today to brief you about the latest development pertaining to the Membership Registration/Revalidation Exercise of our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State.
As you are all aware, the membership registration exercise started yesterday, Tuesday, 9th February, 2021.
It is an exercise we all looked forward to as the leadership of the APC in the state. We tried within our means to not only ensure that party members are well galvanised for the exercise, we also have canvassed several thousands of Kwarans across the length and breath of the state for the exercise.
But as adequate as our preparations and as hard as our efforts, all that seems to be going to waste as fillers from the units have shown so far that what is being done at the various units, almost without exceptions, are in clear and brazen breach of the guidelines of the APC Membership Registration Exercise.
To start with, we state in clear unequivocal terms that majority of the Caretaker State Executive Committee of the APC in Kwara State was never carried along in the events leading to the exercise. We are all in the dark till this very moment as per the processes of the registration exercise. The same is true of our LGA Chairmen and their executives, the Ward Chairmen and their executives.
But assuming without conceding that the Chairman, BOB, is suspended, are we all also suspended? Is the Organising Secretary, Samuel Ndazoko Isa, who by our party’s constitution is supposed to be responsible for this exercise, also suspended? Is the State Women Leader also suspended? Is the State Legal Adviser also suspended? Is the majority members of the executive committee here present also suspended? So, why did the Senator John Danboi-led team sidestep all of us?
If this is bad, what is happening on the field is worse. The guidelines of the registration are being severely raped across all the 1872 units without exception. Unfortunately, Senator John Danboi and his team are not only looking away and but are also seemingly enabling these aberrations for reasons best know to them.
First, the registration materials are being hoarded. In virtually all units of the state that we have monitored, both the Registration Forms and the Register of Members are never provided. Instead, party members who are revalidating and others who are prospective are being asked to write their personal details, including their NIN on a rough sheet of paper.
There is no where in the Guidelines that such provision is allowed. And since registration materials have been said to be delivered to the state, we ask, where are the materials? Why are people being forced to write their details on N100 exercise books instead of on APC Membership Register as provided? Why are people not given the Temporary Membership Slip on registration as the guidelines stipulate? Why is the Kwara State APC Membership exercise different from the rest of other states of the federation?
As leaders of the party, we are alarmed by what is playing out in our party. We are disappointed too, and we are ashamed. We are ashamed that the legitimate expectations of several thousands of members are being dashed right under our noses and we are unable to do anything to it. We are alarmed that a minority elements in the party are holding the majority of members to ransom. We are alarmed that a party that professes adherence to the rule of law is being dragged in the mud without any consequence. And we are disappointed that the people that should put things right and straight are not only looking away but are giving tacit support to the aberrations for pecuniary reasons.
We like to state at this point that the issues at stake are no longer about Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa or Gov. AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq.
The issues are way beyond them both. The issues are about due process, about the integrity of our party, about the sanctity of our constitution. The issues are about the hopes and aspirations of thousands of people who worked tirelessly to bring the APC in Kwara state thus far but are now being relegated and abused for no fault of theirs.
It is really disappointing and unfortunate.
Following from the above, we make these demands.
1. We demand a level playing field in the registration exercise. The exercise, as being presently conducted is not only skewed but it is in clear breach of the guidelines as enumerated by the party national leadership. If the registration is about the people, and more people, and very more people, we demand a fair and credible conduct of the exercise, without fear or favour.
2. We demand an immediate deployment of the registration materials to all the units without exception. We demand that they be brought out from where they are presently being hoarded.
3. We demand a complete stop to the use of exercise books to record the personal details of the registrants. It is an aberration that must stop and the wanton exposure of the NIN (Nation Identity Number) of members without control pose a grave danger for them.
4. We demand a more inclusive approach to the exercise. If we, the Sate Executive Committee members are in the dark, if the LGA Chairmen and their executives are in the dark, if the Ward Chairmen and their executives are in the dark, what then is the essence of the exercise?
5. On a final note, we urge our members to continue to be peaceful and law abiding. No matter the level of provocation, they should remain peaceful and report swiftly to relevant security agencies.
Chief Sunday Oyebiyi