Wednesday, February 10, 2021 11:02 am
By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Immediate past national chairman of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has supported assertion that the ongoing revalidation of the membership by the party is unnecessary.
The first Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande had last week condemned the exercise, describing it as unnecessary waste of funds.
He also warned the Mai Buni led leadership of the party against embarking on such schemes to prolong their stay in office.
Speaking during the flag off of the revalidation exercise in Lagos, the National Leader of APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu had also declared that his support for Akande, describing the re-registration of members by APC as unnecessary.
In the same vein, Oshiomhole said that the revalidation of the membership of the party called by the party’s Interim Caretaker Committee, contradicts the party’s constitution.
He spoke on Tuesday at Iyamho, Etsako West Local Government of Edo State, while fielding questions from journalists, shortly after revalidating his membership of the party at Unit 1, ward 10.
He said that to revalidate one’s membership of the party is tantamount to double registration, but that he is complying with the directive because he wants peace to reign in the party.
According to him, “APC is governed by constitution and not by man. The constitution only provides for registration and I registered as a member of the APC in 2014 under the Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande.
“There is nothing in the APC constitution that says a member shall revalidate or renew its membership. Once you register when you joined the party and you have not decamped, you are a member. So, revalidation is strange to our constitution.
“I have only done this because I want peace to reign, but in doing this, we have to be careful not to create constitutional breach.”
Oshiomhole who noted that between 2015 and now, people have exited from the party and others have joined, while some have died, however added that it makes sense to review the register so that those who have decamped to APC will be registered, while those who have left would be deleted.
According to him, “If you ask me as a foundation member who have never decamped, to revalidate his membership is double registration, because there is nothing like revalidation in our constitution.
“Asking me to revalidate my membership means I was not a member when I have never left the party. So, I think the correct language should be either reviewing or updating, because it makes sense to review voters register due to the new members that have joined or those that have exited.”
He noted that the party has been updating its register from time to time, adding that most of the governors under the party today became members, following voters register update, hence they were able to contest the governorship election under the party.
“So, what this means now is that I have come here to do another registration, but I insist that my registration never expired within the provision of the APC constitution.
“For me, I think we should just move on, I am happy I just did it, but I don’t need it, because my membership has not expired and it can only expire when I decamp, and if I am returning, then I can revalidate.
“History didn’t just begin today. If we don’t have a valid register, how did we conduct the congress in 2015 in which 16 million registered APC members voted to nominate President Muhammadu Buhari before the general election?” Oshiomhole queried.
He said at one of the party’s National Executive Council meeting held in Abuja when he was the national chairman, he had the honour of presenting membership card to President Buhari.
“I am a founding governor of APC, I am not a creation of APC, some of those who are rowdy here and there now, came to join APC, but we formed the APC,” he said.