By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The interim leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has attributed the crises that recently threatened the unity of the party, as well as the inability of the party to retain some states like Zamfara, Bayelsa and Edo, to non-existence of membership register.
This, according to him, has been the driving force behind the decision of the party to initiate and commence the idea of membership registration and validation of the party register, to forestall future occurrence.
In a statement he personally signed in Abuja, Buni indicated that his leadership is poised to putting in place structures for membership register and to regularly pursue membership drive to ensure that conflicts do not arise in the party again.
He said since the 2014 post-merger membership registration and the inconclusive registration updates of 2017, APC has not been able to produce a comprehensive membership register.
“For obvious reasons, we are not surprised that many stakeholders are of the view that the inability of our party to put in place a working structure for continuous membership register updates and new membership drive is a major factor in some conflicts that have caused our party major losses in multiple states and in a number of elections.
“During the last five years since our party emerged as the governing party, we have lost members due to either death or defection. We have also received many new members to our party. In all cases, our membership register does not currently reflect these changes. This laxity and the challenging consequences have brought into focus the imperative for our party to immediately embark on this exercise.
“Towards achieving this, we have engaged with our party leaders across the country. We have briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the imperative for this exercise as a major pillar for sustainable political harmony and a precursor to developing the capacity to continue to deliver political victories for our party for many years to come.
“It is on this note that our committee is now embarking on nationwide membership registration and revalidation of the current membership register. We are soon to roll out massive publicity and stakeholders’ engagement processes to mobilize our members nationwide to ensure full participation and a successful outcome.
“We are working hard and speedily to deliver on our mandate even when we understand the need to put a sustainable structure in place towards conducting a credible national convention to usher in a new National Working Committee (NWC).”
Buni, however, solicited the cooperation of all APC members to ensure a smooth and transparent registration exercise.
“On our part, we will continue to provide updates of the process on regular basis and do all that is necessary to strengthen our party and deliver a cohesive political structure at the end of our assignments.”
On how his caretaker committee has been able to resolve some crisis rocking the party, the governor described the task as a success.
“We, as members of the Caretaker Committee, are not in doubt about these challenges. In the last four months, since our committee was inaugurated, we have embarked on our assignments with a clear focus, knowing that our actions or inactions could make or mar the chances of our party, first, to survive and be stable and second, to have the capacity to compete in the national political landscape. This has been our preoccupation, and we are confronting our tasks with every caution, patriotic zeal and the milestones we have accomplished within this short period bear bold testimony to our single-mindedness and dedication.
“Our immediate task of resolving the various conflicts across the states has been largely successful. In many of the flashpoints, we have been able to either resolve the conflict or douse the tension, while we continue to make efforts at bringing about an atmosphere that encourages peace and unity of purpose.