Speaking the Nations Mind

Fresh Registration of Members In APC: Wrong Timing

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Fellow party men and women, you might be aware that the Former Elected Local Government Chairmen Association(FELGOCAS)was registered in January 2006 by the Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC) to forster understanding among former and serving elected LGA Chairmen in order to provide a platform on which the former elected Chairmen may interact and play positive role and complementary roles in matters affecting the political development of our dear country.
As a third tier of government, local governments in a Presidential system of government are the pillars upon which genuine democracy stands. The service of LGA Chairmen in strengthening these pillars cannot be overemphasised.
Therefore, we are constrained at this time to voice out our worries and fears about the unfortunate state of affairs of our beloved party, the All Progressives Congress(APC).
We have no doubt that you would all agree with us that the ruling party in Nigeria, the almighty APC currently tethers on the precipice of disintegration if urgent care and caution are not taken to restore sanity and order in the party.
But first let us take you down memory lane, incase we have forgotten so soon the sacrifices by men and women of goodwill to forge the alliance that gave birth to the APC some characters are bent on destroying today through guile and unbridled ambition.
On 6th February, 2013, four political parties- the Congress for Progressive Change(CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party(ANPP), Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN), and All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA) merged together to form All Progressives Congress(APC).
It took the toil and sweat of the leaders of these parties for this merger to work and harder work and strategy for the party to be able to wrestle power from the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) that had held sway at the federal level since 1999.
Indeed, speaking in his forward to the book, “Power of Possibility and Change in Nigeria”, written by the Director-General of Progressive Governors Forum(PGF), Comrade Salihu Mohammed Lukman, President Muhammadu Buhari said “all the four parties came to the painful realisation” that none of them could defeat PDP as separate entities hence the need for the merger.
The importance of the merger, according to Mr President, could not be overemphasised as the future of Nigeria was tied to it! The President declared that he consulted with the National Leader of our party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande at the commencement of the merger negotiations about the need to have a broad-based national political party. And that it would have been catastrophic had the merger plans failed.
Why did I go through this historical chronicles? Because as it is said, you have to know your past to be able to plan for your future. And with current happenings in APC, I doubt if our past is still of any essence to us as a party.
Not a few of the current leaders have simply caved into politics of perfidy, bitterness and dishonesty.
Nigerians voted for us on the strength of CHANGE which the founding fathers of our party led by President Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and others propagated and institutionalised. But can some of these so-called leaders in our party beat their chests today that they still subscribe to it? Can they swear to high heavens that they are still on the same page with the leader of our party, President Buhari on CHANGE mantra?
The bitter truth and reality in APC now is while the President is busy working for CHANGE, the fifth columnists are busy working for their selfish ends. They do not care whether the APC disintegrates or not as long as their gluttonous nests are feathered! Sad!!

When on June 25, 2020, an Interim Caretaker Committee was put in a place by the National Executive Committee(NEC) of our party to among others reconcile aggrieved party members and organise a National Convention to bring up new leadership to steer the ship of the party within six months, most of us grudgingly accepted the strange arrangement as a result of our profound respect for our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Interim Committee led by Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni assumed office and to our amazement, began to play the script of the “so-called cabal” in the party. Instead of uniting the various entities in the party, the Committee is doing the opposite. The Edo State crisis is a case in point. The Interim Caretaker Committee inexplicably became a lameduck unable to forster unity within the party. Indeed, instead of supporting the candidate of the party in the governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the Committee allegedly gave full support to the opposition PDP candidate leading to the the disastrous outing of the party in the governorship election.
We stand corrected!
As if that was not enough, the Committee has gone ahead with a sit-tight agenda to extend its tenure beyond December 2020 under the pretext of carrying out fresh registration of members and inability to conclude its reconciliation efforts!
The Committee has less than a month to go yet it is planning for fresh registration of members, abandoning the original mandate of the committee which is to organise a National Convention.
Our advise to the Caretaker Committee is to drop the idea of the registration with immediate effect.
The People of this country are hungry and unemployment is at its peak yet registration of new members is what we think is important now. Can a hungry person be happy to register for any political party now? This is not the right time to embark on new membership registration at all except there is a hidden agenda.
Almost all the states in the far north are currently under security siege, so how is the Committee planning to conduct registration exercise in those areas?
Should it even be extremely important to to look into party membership, we advise the Caretaker Committee to request for an update of members i.e any one who wishes to register should approach the registration Centres while the names of those who have left the party be submitted by each ward so that the names can be deleted. There is no need for extension of tenure because of registration or inability to conclude reconciliation. A reconciliation process in any political party is a continuum, not a one-off affair.
We also advise the party to print the permanent cards to be distributed to members who are still current.

The time has come for Mr President to take this issue of extension of tenure very seriously. It is no longer funny that our party is hanging precariously on the precipice. Most senior appointees of Mr President are no longer sold to the CHANGE MANTRA. Its all about themselves and their selfish interests. The whole party is divided down the line. Something urgent needs to be done and the time is now Mr President.

WAY FORWARD
We hereby profer as way forward the followings:

1. The Interim Caretaker Committee should suspend its tenure elongation agenda with immediate effect.

2. Our dear President must be wary of deceitful leaders who might want to advise him wrongly on the state of affairs in our party.

3. The plan by the Interim Management Committee to dissolve all existing party executive structures must be jettisoned forthwith. It is strange for a Caretaker Committee to contemplate the dissolution of legally constituted Executives in the party!

4. A new timetable and date for the National Convention must be announced immediately

5. The planned Registration of new members must be dropped for the new the incoming EXCOs to handle.

Anything short of these will not be acceptable to majority of the party faithfuls and the end result is better imagined.
We wish to use this medium to commiserate with the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Tinubu on the unfortunate destruction of his businesses during the EndSARS saga in Lagos. We are assuring you that no gang up against you will stop us from giving you the necessary support that is needed always. We appreciate your leadership qualities and we plead with you not to be distracted by the recent sad events. Stay the course, and ultimate victory is assured by God’s grace.

Signed

HON IBRAHIM DASUKI HASKE(SARKINTUDUN SOKOTO)
National President

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