Despite the increasing cases of coronavirus in Lagos, the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State on Monday met to strategise on the party’s membership revalidation and registration exercise starting on Feb. 9 in the state.
Mohammed Bashir, Chair, seven-man State Supervisory Committee of the APC Membership Revalidation and Registration Exercise in Lagos, presided over the meeting of top-notch party leaders at Lagos APC Secretariat.
He called for cooperation and due process and urged stakeholders to ensure massive mobilisation of members at the grassroots for the exercise.
“We cannot have membership without the party having the required arrangements and process of ensuring that members are duly registered, following and observing all required legal and political frameworks.
“Members that have registered are revalidating their registration to ensure that they are still members and whatever is missing in term of their data are captured.
“New members are also given the opportunity to come and join the ruling party,” he said.
It is unclear if there are laid out plans to ensure participants adhere to COVID-19 protocols during the registration.
Lagos has remained the epicentre of the virus in Nigeria, recording 49,274 cases and 314 deaths as of January 31. The state recorded 3,590 cases in the week of January 25-31. On January 30, Lagos recorded 1,040 cases, more than half of the nationwide tally.
There are 131,918 reported coronavirus cases in Nigeria as of February 1, according to the NCDC.
About 18 million people registered during the party’s first membership registration drive in 2018.
In an interview with TVC News, last week, Tunde Balogun, the Lagos State APC Caretaker Chair, called for an extension of the registration period beyond the two weeks it is slated for.
“The only thing I want to appeal to the national caretaker committee for two weeks they are asking us to do, I hope they will extend it to three-four weeks so that many people can register,” Mr Balogun also told TVC News last week.“The crowd is not called for.”
At Monday’s meeting, Mr Bashir urged all party chieftains to work hard to ensure APC maintains its stand as a leading party not only in Nigeria but also in Africa.
He also urged all stakeholders and party leaders to ensure that the right things were done for the exercise to succeed, assuring that the committee believed the exercise would not fail in Lagos State.
“I want to charge all of us as stakeholders to ensure that whatever is required to be done to ensure the success of this important exercise is being done.
“Without you, the committee at this level cannot succeed just like without the committee, this exercise will not also happen. We are going to have a symbiotic relationship.
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“We will work with you hand in hand without ceding our own responsibilities, but we will play according to the rules and dictates of the exercise. We are not ready to hide anything from the stakeholders.
“I also urge all of us to ensure that from your own end as stakeholders, you give us required support and cooperation to ensure that we succeed to move APC forward,” Mr Bashir said.
He urged party leaders that would be involved in the exercise to see it as a trust to conduct the process according to laid down rules.
He said the committee would on Tuesday organise training for two supervisors from each of the local government areas.
The chairman said that two supervisors from each ward and three registration officers from each polling unit would also be trained on Wednesday.
He said the committee would ensure that no one was excluded, adding that any willing person of 18 years and above would be allowed to join the party, irrespective of gender, tribe or ethnic background.
In his opening address, Mr Balogun urged party leaders to massively mobilise members for the nationwide membership revalidation and registration exercise.
Mr Balogun said the national committee members were in Lagos to ensure seamless exercise.
“They are here to work with us to ensure we have a seamless membership registration and revalidation of our party members.
“The registration exercise has brought some controversies. The registration of members should be seen as routine. The apprehension is needless.
“The Lagos chapter will ensure that the process is fair, transparent and all-inclusive.
“I implore all members to mobilise other members of APC at grassroots to come and register. No member will be denied. Every willing member is entitled to register,” Mr Balogun said.
He said that no one would be denied registration and nobody would be sidelined, saying all willing citizens above 18 years would be registered in the exercise between Feb. 9 and Feb. 25
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the crucial meeting had in attendance several council chairpersons, state and federal lawmakers and other stakeholders.
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