A chieftain of the all Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo says hoarding of membership registration materials is a ploy by a group to hijack the party in the state.
Oyedepo said this in Ilorin on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while reacting to the called for cancellation of the process by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
He was of the view that you can’t have the people and at the same time continue to hide the registration materials in your rooms and doing registration in many unauthorised places.
“So the claim of having the people with them is false because they want to exclude as many stakeholders as possible.
“They want to exclude as many people as possible and they are doing it in preparation for a congress where the number of people registered will have the power to decide who take up the responsibility or the leadership of the party.
“So, it is a calculated attempt to hijack the party and to make sure that so many people that can make the party vibrant are checked out of the party,” he said.
Oyedepo threw his weight behind the call for the cancellation of the entire registration process in the state, adding “without the cancellation, APC will be no more in Kwara”.
“If it is not cancelled, the implication is that the party is dead. I say again that the party is dead if there is no cancelation,” he added.
Oyedepo declared that cancellation of the exercise in the state was the best option for the party..
“To me, the best option we have in the circumstance is to cancel the exercise and constitute a new committee that will be impartial in conducting a new revalidation and registration exercise in Kwara.
“My reaction is that the demand of the stakeholders through the honorable Minister of Information is the best option for Kwara state.
“Without it, the party will be literally dead here because those people that claim to have people, they are hiding the registration materials.
“Four tendencies formed the party and only the minority of the four, because of the executive power of the governor, are taking a lot of advantage over others, this advantage is short lived, it cannot win election.
“The advantage they think they have cannot win election because they don’t have the people and they have not created a character that can mobilise people and win election.
“We are not in doubt that the national headquarters will look into this our case and make appropriate pronouncement,” Oyedepo added.
NAN reports that that the crisis within the party was deepened by the way and manner the registration committee headed by Sen. John Damboyi is handling the exercise.
NAN also reports that not less than four groups in the party have condemned the membership registration exercise in the state.
A group of concerned youths in the party, at a news conference on Feb. 4, rejected the membership of the registration committee, accusing them of taking side with a particular group.
Also, elders of the party on Feb. 5 at a media briefing at the party secretariat passed vote of no confidence on the committee members, saying that they cannot conduct fair and credible registration of members.
Again, 26 members of the caretaker committee also rejected the exercise, describing it as a sham.
The APC Vice chairman, Chief Sunday Oyebiyi, who addressed the press, declared that the registration process in virtually all the registration centres was in breach of the guidelines of the APC on the exercise.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a news conference on Monday in his home town, Oro, also called for the cancellation of the registration exercise. (NAN)