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APC Moves to Harmonise Structures at State, Local Levels

The interim leadership of the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC) will meet Tuesday in Abuja to chart a way forward for the party.

A chieftain of APC and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi, who spoke on the significance of the meeting which is the first since the party was registered last Wednesday, urged the leaders to adopt pragmatic measures that will lead to a credible membership registration.

THISDAY gathered from sources at the party secretariat Monday that the leaders will among other issues decide on strategies for a nationwide membership registration drive aimed at not only harmonising the existing membership register of the merged parties, but to also attract fresh members into its fold.

The party’s membership record is considered paramount in the scheme of things because it will provide the accurate membership data on which decisions on the selection of a substantive leadership structure for the party will be made.

According to a source, apart from harmonising the membership list, the meeting may take other far-reaching decisions on how to set up interim structures at the state levels.

While confirming the APC meeting in a telephone interview, Ikimi told THISDAY that one of the best ways to further sustain the in-roads made by the party was to open up the registration exercise to accommodate every Nigerian who wants to belong to APC.

“The leadership of the APC will be meeting tomorrow for the first time after registration and I think one of the major items on the agenda will be the discussion on how to execute the membership drive.

“Personally, I feel it will be necessary to open up to all Nigerians and to ensure that the membership registration is done right from the ward through the state and then the national level.
“In this case, it will be expedient to set up similar interim leadership structures at the state level to help facilitate the membership registration exercise.

“It is also important that the registration exercise is conducted in a very transparent manner so as to ensure that a credible membership register emerges at the end of the day.

“We are not inheriting the problems of the previous parties, all Nigerians are being invited to come and register with the new party so long as they share the ideals contained in the APC constitution.

“We are not placing any special condition and we are not going to restrict membership to only the merged parties,” he said.

Also, in a statement Monday, Ikimi spoke on the significance of the registration of the party, stating: “Over the past 14 years or so, our country has been subjected to a regime of impunity led by a virtual dictatorship that has made no apology about steering the country towards a one-party state.

“The nation has been inundated with embarrassing proclamations by the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) such as they will rule Nigeria for the next 100 years.

“Political power is no longer derived through a contest based on civilised dialogue, the presentation of ideas or manifesto or through the outcome of the ballot box but has now become a ‘do-or-die’ assault waged by a cabal of ‘garrison commanders’ through a blatant corruption of the process, crudely and arrogantly brandishing a force to ‘capture’ territories that dare to disagree with them.”

Even more frightening, Ikimi pointed out, was the recent case of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) election “involving critical leaders in the country conducted in a free and transparent process where someone clearly won but the loser is being proclaimed the winner by a so-called powerful cabal.”

The former minister also recalled the Rivers State crisis where he said five members in a 32-member state House of Assembly “purported to have impeached their speaker against the will of 27 others members.

“This was most undemocratic and a reckless display of arrogant power in an atmosphere of lawlessness perpetrated in the presence of security agencies.”

He said with the aggregation of the three defunct parties, which merged in conjunction with powerful breakaway groups from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) as well as the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), a formidable alternative platform with a national spread had now been created, adding, “Its time has come.”

He thanked all leaders of the party, starting from Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Bola Tinubu, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, the 88 members nominated by the leadership of the merging parties into the Merger Committee, as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for making the APC dream a reality.

“We look forward to interesting times ahead, of a healthy political engagement between two national political parties that present alternative choices to our people.

“Peaceful change of power is a wind that is blowing across the globe and all over Africa now. Apart from France and Italy among the advanced democracies, we have here in West Africa examples in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Senegal, where the opposition has successfully replaced sitting governments through peaceful elections.

“It seems to me that Nigeria is yearning now for a peaceful democratic change!” he said.

Source: Thisdaylive

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