· _Divergent views good for democracy: AbdulRazaq_
· _Cautions against violence, exclusion_
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Wednesday flagged off the All Progressives Congress (APC) membership registration/revalidation exercise amid appeals to party members to eschew violence or anything that could disrupt the exercise.
The governor had his own membership revalidated at his Idigba country home in Adewole Ward of Ilorin West in the presence of top government officials such as Deputy Kayode Alabi; Senators Yahya Oloriegbe (Central) and Umar Sadiq (North); Speaker of the House of Assembly Yakubu Danladi; Deputy Speaker Raphael Adetiba; APC Caretaker Committee Chairman in the state Alhaji Abdullahi Sanmari; and several others.
The Governor’s registration number is KW/LRN/08/24001.
The exercise was led by the Chairman of the APC Membership Registration Committee for the state Senator John Danboi, supported by other members of the delegation from the national headquarters of the ruling party.
AbdulRazaq specifically called on all tendencies within the party to bury their differences and work for peace, and urged the committee handling the exercise to ensure that all willing persons are freely registered or have their membership status revalidated.
The Governor said some disagreements within the party were normal democratic debates that should not be misconstrued for intractable crisis, cautioning various stakeholders to embrace the process peacefully.
“As the registration is going on, we should all bury our differences. There is no political party that does not have its tendencies. That is all what democracy is all about. We should bury those views and leave the battle for another day. We should all embrace the registration. It will be useful to us at the national convention. We must all act to make sure the registration is a success,” he said earlier Wednesday when the Danboi committee paid him a courtesy visit.
“The idea of the registration was borne by President Muhammadu Buhari. He wants to see the base of the party expanding. In the last election, we got about 75% of the votes (in Kwara) with the bulk of the votes from members of the public who are not members of the party. Now, having seen the efforts being made by governments across the states and with campaigns for others to join us, we need to expand the base of our party.”
The Governor said the registration process for existing and intending members will begin full blast on Tuesday across the state.
Speaking with reporters shortly after registering, the Governor said: “This is a process of re-energising the party. Governors have been mandated to kickstart the revalidation/registration exercise in their respective states while the main exercise starts on Tuesday next week.
“We are going out to ensure that every member is registered. We should not say because somebody has a divergent view he should not be registered. Everybody inkling to do so should be allowed to register. We’re opening our doors and windows for everybody to come into the party.”
Danboi, for his part, said the committee is in Kwara to revalidate the membership status of existing party stalwarts as well as register new members.
“Your Excellency this is an exercise that is nationwide. We have been sent to Kwara State to oversee the registration because the party is growing day by day. It is our duties as members of the party to revalidate and register new members. It is for this reason we are here in Kwara State,” he said during the courtesy visit to the Governor.
“The committee has also set up a stakeholders meeting and the invitation is to every sphere in Kwara State. Nobody will be stopped from registration. All what we need is the cooperation of government and people of Kwara State because Kwara State is an APC state.
“It is our prayer that we will triple the number that we have at the moment. We will proceed to your ward in your local government for your registration and by Tuesday next week the real registration will begin.”