Mixed reactions as APC flags off membership registration

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday began fresh registration of members nationwide, with reports from many states saying the exercise could not start  due to logistical problems.

Reports indicate that many states experienced late arrival of materials while in others the training of personnel was still going on at the time of filing this report.

In Sokoto State, registration materials were handed over to 23 local governments’ caretaker committee chairmen of the party in the state  on Wednesday.

The nine-man committee in each of the 23 local governments was saddled with the responsibility of handling the registration at the council level.

The Chairman of the Registration Committee in the state, Nasiru Dantiye, told NAN the party would conform with the  registration guidelines set out by the national headquarters.

Dantiye said APC was determined to ensure that the 10-day exercise was conducted in conformity with the nation’s constitution.

In Kano State, the registration did not commence as scheduled as people were awaiting materials and personnel as at midday on Wednesday.

Sources at Gwagwarwa, Gawuna and Kaura Goje polling units told our correspondent that prospective members started arriving since 8 a.m., but they were dispersed when it was clear nothing was going on.

A Special Assistant to Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso told journalists that the party executives were holding a meeting to map out ways for the smooth take- off of the registration.

However, Dr Mustapha Inuwa, the Chairman of APC Registration Committee in Kano State, said the training of officials was ongoing now. “We are expecting proper registration to commence later in the day or tomorrow (Thursday),’’ he said.

Similarly, in Bauchi State, APC membership registration had not started as at 2 p.m. due to lack of prompt distribution of materials to local government areas.

The Interim Public Relation Officer of the party, Bappa Tafida, said the exercise had been shifted to begin on Thursday due to delay in the distribution of materials.

He said preparations were underway to send all the materials to relevant officers of the party in the local government areas.

“We have experienced delays in the distribution of the registration materials to the local government areas. They will however be delivered today (Wednesday) and the exercise proper will commence on Thursday.

“We are appealing to our members to exercise some patience as we are making all necessary arrangements to deliver the materials to all the 20 local government areas in the state,” Tafida said.

However, some of the party members said that they were not discouraged by the development, affirming that they would register whenever the exercise began.

In Lagos state,  Gov. Babatunde Fashola urged interested Nigerians  to register as members of APC. Fashola made the remark when he kicked off the APC membership registration in the state.

He had arrived the State Junior Grammar School, Itolo, Surulere area of Lagos with his wife, Abimbola Fashola, where he registered as member  at exactly 10.40 a.m.

The governor said the APC was moving forward, adding that the registration was a process which would identify individuals making up the party.

“The registration is open and transparent. After this, the party will hold its elective congress which all members are free to contest in as it will be free and fair,” he said.

The Lagos State Chairman of APC, Henry Ajomale, who registered at his unit in Isolo, said the registration would hold in 8,500 units in the state.

However, some Lagos residents called for more publicity and enlightenment on the ongoing APC membership registration.

Kunle Iyiola, a civil servant, said that enough publicity ought to be put in place to sensitise the members because many were not aware of the exercise.

Some areas in Alagbado, Abule-Egba and Agege recorded low turnout of people as the residents went about their normal business.

Lola Akande, the Deputy Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly, said efforts had been put in place to ensure many people participated in the exercise.

Bisi Yusuf (APC-Alimosho I) also said that majority of residents in the area had registered as party members after the exercise commenced.

He said that over 700 residents had registered in Ipaja Ayobo Unit A, while a large number of people had also been registered in Ward B under Alimosho Local Government Area.

In Rivers, the exercise was being conducted in 4,442 centres and according to Chukwuemeka Eze, the APC Publicity Secretary in the state, there was a large turnout of people for the membership registration.

“Everybody is out to ensure that he or she is not left out in the movement into a brighter future,’’ Eze said.

Reports indicate that in Okehi ward 11 in Etche Local Government Area, the turnout was encouraging without any problem or confusion.

George Ukwuoma, a former Publicity Secretary of PDP, said the people of Okehi had spoken with one voice.

However, in Katsina State, there was a delay in the distribution of registration materials which stalled the commencement of membership registration.

The Chairman of the APC Interim Management Committee in the state, Ahmad Dangiwa, told newsmen that registration materials had been brought to the state.

Dangiwa, said the party would begin with the training of registration officials who would in turn go to their respective local government areas to train other officers at the ward level and polling units.

He said the party would ensure that the materials were distributed to all the 34 local government areas of the state on Wednesday so that some centres would start registration on Thursday.

Reports from Osun indicated that the exercise had taken off across the state with little hitches.

The state APC Director of Publicity, Kunle Oyatomi, in an interview said reports received at the secretariat had indicated there was a good turnout of people to register.

“Our feedback mechanism across the state has shown that the enthusiasm of our people is so high.

“Enough materials have already been dispatched to all registration units across the state to take care of all those who want to identify with the APC.

“We have organised the exercise in such a way that from the units to the wards, up to the state level, competent hands have been selected as registration supervisors,’’ he said.

The non-availability of registration materials in the 11 local government areas of Gombe state delayed the take-off of the exercise on Wednesday.

NAN reports that at Madaki, Buba Yero  and Jeka Da fari wards in Gombe metropolis, the potential members were waiting for the officials as at 1.30 p.m.

At Kashere ward in Akko Local Government Area of the state, hundreds of would-be members were waiting for the officials to bring the registration materials.

The Kashere ward supervisor, Malam Hamma Bala, said they were waiting for the materials to be brought from Gombe.

The supervisor of Pindiga ward in the area, Yakubu Adamu, said that they were ready for the exercise but there were no materials.

The Interim Chairman of the APC in the state, Magaji Doho, told newsmen at 2 p.m. that the materials would be distributed to the 11 local government areas on Wednesday.

In a related development, all members of the Ekiti House of Assembly went on a short recess to enable them partake in the nationwide membership registration of the APC.

The Interim Chairman of APC in the state, Jide Awe, expressed delight at the pace of the exercise.

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