By Mosunmola Ayobami,Kwara
Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has called on All Progressive Congress (APC) stakeholders in the state to work for peace and inclusion of members as the party is set to participate in the nationwide registration and revalidation exercise on Tuesday.
The Governor spoke on Friday in Ilorin, the state capital, at the stakeholders’ meeting ahead of the exercise, with participants drawn from across the length and breadth of the state.
He called on party elders and stakeholders to “bury their differences and work in unity” to widen the support base of the party.
AbdulRazaq apologized to the Senator John Danboi committee over the skirmishes between some stakeholders on Wednesday, saying “that is definitely not who we are” and appealing to all contending interests to rally behind the committee for a hitch-free exercise.
“I will like to apologise to Senator John Danboi and his team for the ugly incident that happened two days ago. It is not in our nature. It is not in our character. We are a peaceful and harmonious people,” he said.
“We, under the direction of the president, are to increase the membership base of the party. If we were 100,000 in the state before, we want to get to 300,000. During the last general election, we won 75% of the votes in the state with only about 100,000 members of the party. We now want to increase the base of the party in the state. People are now being convinced about what we do.
“For example, in Kwara north, what we have done in 16 months or so is more than what they did in eight years. And that is how it is across the state. People are feeling the impact of the government directly. Enrolment in hospitals has tripled. We are doing the jobs. We will not be distracted. We will do the registration properly and it is important that nobody is excluded from this exercise. Every willing person must be captured. It will be myopic to leave anybody out because you don’t share the same political views. Make sure everybody gets registered.
“I was in Daura (Katsina State) last week to witness the president’s flag off the registration/revalidation exercise. Two days ago, I also flagged off the exercise in the state.
“Let’s be careful and observe Covid-19 protocols as we do the registration. We don’t want to escalate the pandemic. Let us remain hospitable and ensure that Senator John Danboi led committee do its job easily in Kwara. Those that may want to boycott the process, let’s encourage them to embrace the process. It is about democracy. Let’s encourage our people, friends, and family to register for the party. The party being led by President Muhammadu Buhari is changing the dynamics. We tend to forget where we are coming for. The entire economy of the country was collapsing when he came in.”
Danboi, for his part, said the stakeholders’ meeting was meant to update leaders of the party on the modalities for the exercise.
“This is a meeting that all stakeholders should be informed of the activities of the party. We want to expand the membership drive of our party and for that reason the national secretariat sent us here to carry out the exercise. The registration proper will hold at polling units where we registered to vote. The exercise will hold at every polling unit in 193 wards in Kwara. That is 187,200 polling units in Kwara,” he said.
“The exercise will commence on the 9th of February, 2021 and last till the 23rd of February, 2021. The first thing to know is that you need to go to the registration point with three passport photographs, voter’s card, and then fill a form with black pen and in capital letters.
“As stakeholders, you need to bring your people out and support them to be able to register. This is the time to canvas for that person that you think are interested in joining the party.”
Abdullahi Samari, the state caretaker committee chairman, said: “We are here on the invitation of the seven-member committee led by Senator John Danboi for the membership registration/revalidation exercise. It is my belief that after we leave here we will pass across information to our members at our respective places.
“We should use the opportunity of this registration exercise to encourage everyone to join our party. We need to expand our membership base.” The event was attended by dozens of top APC chieftains from various interest groups.