From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
Unlike other states controlled by the All Progressives Congress(APC), bedeviled with crises, the revalidation membership registration exercise in Kebbi was conducted peacefully across the state.
In all the 2,398 polling units of 225 wards across the 21 local government areas, all the stakeholders, from the Governor, Deputy Governor, Ministers, Senators, members of House of Representatives to House of Assembly, Commissioners and others, were given an opportunity to be registered along with their supporters.
Some of the gladiators scrambling for different political positions expressed their satisfaction on how the exercise was handled by the party’s leaders.
Speaking on the strategies adopted for the smooth exercise without rancour, the spokesman for the Caretaker Committee of APC in Kebbi State, Alhaji Sanni Dododo said the exercise was free of crisis because all the stakeholders were carried along in the processes. He explained that all the necessary arrangements were made to ensure credible exercise of the party’s members in the state.
According to him, “In kebbi State, we have 2,398 polling units and we are trying not to contravene the COVID 19 guidelines. That is why we decided to decentralise the exercise. In this regard, we compiled the lists of the supervising officers, local government supervisors, wards supervisors and Returning Officers(RO).
“So, the local government supervisors and ward supervisors and Returning Officers ( RO) were all trained. We conducted the training for the local and wards’ supervisors. We have 225 wards in Kebbi State and if you take two people per ward, plus two from each local government, that is about 400 plus. We sat with them and trained them.
“We carried all the stakeholders along; all the major stakeholders that matter in the exercise were carried along. Each problem identified, brought to our notice, were resolved amicably. And that is why we don’t have problem. We started the registration of 100 people per polling unit. It will be a continuous process; before the exercise finished, another set of people will be registered.
“Some of the states that have crisis during the registration had problem already. But in Kebbi State, the governor was elected under the platform of APC; all the Senators, House of Representatives members, 24 House of Assembly members,5,224 Councillors were all elected under under APC. So, Kebbi State is APC state. We are not expecting problem, because we know ourselves, we are brothers and sisters. We have no problem in the state”.
Speaking on mobilizing all the stakeholders for the exercise, Dododo noted that the party has created time for the registration of the major stakeholders such as the governor, minister, senators, House of Representatives members, House of Assembly members and others without anybody being denied their rights. He explained that most of the challenges they are facing are man-made, stressing that they have addressed them without any problem.
Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu while speaking to newsmen after he registered in his polling unit, described the massive turn out of APC’ s members during the exercise of the party to the popularity of the party in Nigeria. Bagudu, who is the Chairman, Progressives Governors Forum, said, “you have seen it yourselves; the gathering here is a testimony that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is the popular party in Nigeria under the able and patriotic leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. I visited Mai-Alelu polling unit, where I am registered to revalidate my membership in the presence of so many dignitaries, comprising local government chairmen, politicians, party stakeholders, particularly from polling unit,” he said.
Bagudu also commended the Kebbi State Chairman of National Registration Committee, Prof. Yahaya Sani, and his members for their patience and perseverance in the organisation of the ongoing exercise.
“Today, the registration committee is witnessing the revalidation of membership of new members of APC; we thank them – the Prof. Yahaya Sani’s committee and all his members who have come to Kebbi and have been patient with us, and have been organising for us to start this revalidation and registration exercise successfully. We commend all our members, security agencies, media and party stakeholders for their contributions towards the success of this important exercise,” he said.
Governor Bagudu at another forum, emphasized on the unity in the party. He said: “ in APC, we give prominence to unity because it is the foundation of every member and we are doing this exercise in line with the provision of the party’s constitution.”
He further explained, “no member is greater than the party, that was the main reason President Muhammadu Buhari went to his polling unit in Daura to formally register and obtain his membership card.”.
Speaking after revalidating his membership card at his polling unit 018 Shiya Fada Mariya, Birnin Kebbi, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Chika Malami(SAN) likened the massive turn out of people in Kebbi State for the membership registration of APC to passing of votes of confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu.
“We are living witnesses to how the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has constructed roads which are of concern to the states. Roads from Sokoto to Kebbi states which reached Niger state through Jega,Yauri and other local governments in the state among others.
“Again, President Muhammad Buhari recognized Kebbi as the first state and established rice Anchor Borrowers which indeed has translated to massive rice production in Nigeria. And this has transformed to food security in Nigeria. In Kebbi State, we would continue to provide employment, security, food security and indeed support their businesses among others.
“We would double our efforts to ensure that at the end of the day, we provide Federal Government interventions to support the people so that, they could contribute to the development of Nigeria”.
The Minister who commended the people for coming out enmass, stressed that their patience and orderly manner showed that they still have confidence in the leadership of President Buhari and Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State.
Senator Adamu Aliero representing Kebbi central senatorial district, at a stakeholders meeting also advised members to imbibe the culture of togetherness and collective fight to achieve a common goal. He said the stakeholders were doing everything possible to ensure the success of the party at all levels and admonished the young citizens, who had attained the age of 18 years to take advantage of the registration.
In his remark, Professor Yahaya Sanni who led the APC national committee to monitor the exercise expressed satisfaction over the smooth conduct of the exercise in the state without crisis. He also led the committee to the polling unit of the Attorney General of the federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Chika Malami, Senate Leader, Dr Yahyah Abdullahi and other stakeholders in the state where they also revalidated their membership cards.
The Senate Leader, Yahyah Abdullahi, representing Kebbi North Senatorial District also preached unity in the party and urged chieftains and all members of the APC to be faithful, rally round the party to foster unity for the progress of the party and Nigeria.
Abdullahi who revalidated his membership card at the Sama secondary school polling unit, Argungun, said, “my dear colleagues and members of our party, in my polling unit, in my Local government, I want to appeal to you first of all to be faithful to the party. When we started this party in 2014, a lot of people were calling us all sorts of names that how are we going to win an election at the state and national levels when we don’t have anything to show. But our God made sure it happened and we won the elections at the state and at the national levels. Now it is time to re- engineer our party for more success.
“Now the most important thing in any successful endeavour, is to bring people together. Once you don’t bring people together, you will lose and lose election. That is what any politician would not like to experience. I will appeal to you that in our journey forward, we should t make sure we unite all our party members, we should be disciplined members of the party so that we can unite ourselves, so that people will see us as united forces and rely on us to lead them. Without unity and discipline within the party, there is no way Nigerians can trust us with their future with this great party.
“Therefore, I am here, registered my membership card in my polling unit and I admonish all members of our great party to shun bitterness, come together as the party members to build a nation, better future for our people in the areas of prosperity, development and area of human progress. Without unity,nothing is possible. With unity, everything is possible. Therefore, I admonish all of us to remain focused on our future mission.
“Secondly I want to appreciate Professor Yahyah who is from Taraba State, a committed member of our party who is leading the committee for coming to our state to supervise the successful registration and revalidation of the membership card of the APC.
“This exercise has started about a week ago, our President, President Muhammadu Buhari had registered at his polling unit in Daura. With his assistance, we all returned to our polling units for the registration. The leaders of our great party across the country, including the governors, Senators, revalidated the membership of the party.
“This is the exercise that was mandated by the leadership of our party in order to make sure that the party is being organized from the grassroots up to the national convention; and all the structures of the party that would witness the election whenever we are reviewing the party so that we can remain competitive against other parties in the forthcoming 2023 general elections”.
A former House of Representative member, who represented Yauri-Shanga and Ngaski federal constituency during the 6th and 7th National Assembly, Halima Hassan Tukur said: “the APC registration is a good exercise, because we, the women have to register as new members and those already there have to re- validate their cards which means that everybody is very important. They have to be card carrying members of any political party so that they could have sense of belonging. So, this exercise is a very important exercise to women.
“I came to the state and I was able to mobilize 14 NGOs that are willing to participate and willing to mobilize women,sensitize them to come out enmass to get their membership cards so that,they would be card carry members. All these times,women are the front runners,doing their best to elect leaders. This time around,they would not be relegated to the backyard in this registration of APC members. So that,they could be fully participated in the electioneering process”, she said.