Nigeria Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has faulted the ongoing All Progressive Congress, APC party registration and revalidation exercise in Kwara State.
The minister alleged that the registration exercise is not in order in the state and hence the need to cancel it.
Naija News understands that Mohammed stated this while addressing the press on Monday, February 15 in Oro in Irepodun Local Government Area of the state.
The APC chieftain after completing his revalidation exercise at the Unit PU006 in Oro Ward 2, said that the registration materials dispatched to the state were not delivered to the registration units while the seven-member committee headed by Senator John Danboi did not meet with the stakeholders of the party.
Mohammed alleged that the seven-member committees disappeared into thin air on arrival in the state.
He said, “Since their arrival in Kwara State, the seven-member APC Membership Registration Committee for Kwara, led by Senator John Danboyi, seems to have gone underground. They have not had any useful interaction with lawful members of the state EXCO as well as party leaders and other stakeholders, including local government Chairmen and their executives and Ward Chairmen and their executives. These are lawfully-constituted party executives that the registration guidelines stipulate should not only be consulted but carried along during the exercise.
“The guidelines stipulate consultation with all stakeholders by the Registration Officials from Abuja. After the botched attempt to have a meeting of stakeholders, due to orchestrated violence, the Registration Officials failed to consult with all stakeholders before the commencement of the membership registration exercise, opting instead to work with only one of the four tendencies here in Kwara, the Fagbemi Group to which the Governor belongs, thus excluding the three other tendencies – The Akogun Group, the Gbemi Saraki Group and the Lai Mohammed Group, without which the ‘O To Ge’ Movement would not have succeeded.
“Ironically, the Fagbemi Group is the weakest of the four tendencies. Out of the 193 wards in the state, the group has only nine ward chairmen and does not have even one local government chairman. Even at the state EXCO, the Fagbemi group has only four members. Also, the recruitment of officials for the registration has been a one-sided affair and indications are that the hand-picked officials are under strict orders ‘from above’ as to how to carry out the exercise. We have evidence to corroborate this.
The minister insisted that the guidelines on the handling of registration materials were sabotaged, adding that “when the Registration Officials from Abuja landed in Ilorin, they simply handed over the registration materials to an individual, not recognized by the provisions of the guidelines, who has decided to hoard them instead of distributing them to the wards.”
The implication according to him is that the registration was carried out without Party Membership Register.
He further alleged that temporary membership slips supposed to be signed and detached from the forms after registration were not being given to those who have purportedly registered.
“According to our findings, since the commencement of the registration, over 80% of the registration units do not have either membership register or membership registration slip. In the few places where they are available, they are kept in private apartments of some political officeholders. In Baruten, the registration materials were handed over to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, who is from there. In Oyun, the materials were given to one Olayiwola Ojo, a member of the State House of Assembly,” Mohammed said.
He added: “In Shao, in Northern Kwara, the registration materials were taken to the police station, where the DPO of that station presided over membership registration, in contravention of the party guidelines. It was only when the people mobilized against the use of the police station for registration that the illegality was stopped. What happened in Shao is the clearest indication yet that the police and other security agencies may be complicit in the mess being made of the membership registration in Kwara State”,
Mohammed insist that the APC Membership Registration Exercise in Kwara State should be cancelled and a new process should be adopted to ensure the conduct of a credible and fair exercise that will enjoy the support and confidence of all.
He added: “The Immediate disbandment of the Senator John Danboyi-led Membership Registration Committee for Kwara State. A vast majority of the APC stakeholders in the state have lost confidence in the committee.
“The constitution of a fresh Membership Registration Committee that is truly independent, non-compromised and sensitive to the delicate diverse interests in the party
“A thorough investigation into the botched membership registration exercise by the Senator John Danboyi-led committee. That these demands are the irreducible minimum requirements for peace and progress in the Kwara APC.”
Meanwhile, the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) has released the local government election time-table and guidelines into the 33 local government areas in the state.
The commission’s Chairman, Isiaka Olagunju, made this known in a statement on Monday in Ibadan, the state capital, Naija News reports.