President Muhammadu Buhari has completed his All Progressive Congress (APC) membership registration and revalidation exercise, assuring members that efforts would be geared towards ensuring that members’ choice of candidate for election is respected rather than imposition.
Buhari, who appealed that Nigerians should join the party in its drive to become Africa’s largest political platform, said that APC, beginning from the ongoing exercise, would no longer be that candidate are handed down to members rather allowing everyone to decide.
He gave the assurance while hosting Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, at least 10 governors, former Senate President, Ken Nnamani and party members of the APC at his country-home in Daura, Katsina State after completing his registration on Saturday.
While arguing that a continuous sense of ownership by members would strengthen the party structure, guarantee better prospects in elections and insure its future, the president called on APC leaders to encourage more participation and ownership of the party at grassroots by adopting bottom-up processes of registration and revalidation at ward, local government, state and federal levels.
Buhari said: “I want to thank you for coming all the way for the flag-off of our party’s registration exercise. Your coming is important to further boost the morale of party members and draw new members.
“Thank you for choosing a bottom-up process of registration at our ward, local government, state and national level, including the FCT. Our party style and structure should no longer be Abuja downwards, but from the ward level upwards. So that people can defend the party and its policies even at every level. The question of putting hands in pocket to get people to participate is no longer there since we don’t have the money to share.’’
The president, meanwhile, called on Nigerians interested in the party to turn out in numbers to revalidate and register, and be mindful of the COVID-19 regulations in carrying out the exercise.
Earlier, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, said the governing party had already set up two committees to ensure effectiveness in the registration and revalidation process, with Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, heading the mobilization and sensitization, while the Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, leads the registration process.
“We are very proud of you. You are a special human being that God uses when Nigeria is in trouble. When you came to power in 1983, Nigeria was suffering from the attacks of Maitasine, and you dealt with them in Maiduguri, Gombe and all other places. I was in secondary school then.
“You also improved the economy. You instituted War Against Indiscipline to bring more focus. You inherited Boko Haram when you came in 2015, like the Maitasine. We are enjoying relative peace. In Yobe State, five local governments were in the hands of Boko Haram before you came in and no secretariat there was functioning. The situation is different now.
“You have successfully stopped the bomb blasts in various parts of the country and today people in the North East are getting resettled.’’
The Chairman said the success of the ward level registration by the President would further encourage grassroots participation.