The festering political crisis in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State is exacerbating with the ongoing registration and revalidation exercise drawing the ire of Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who has called for its total cancellation in the state.
It is also drawing a natural busy body and making Mohammed and the ruling party the subject of pokes from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which says APC is reaping what it sowed.
At a press conference in his hometown, Oro, Lai accused officials of violating the procedure set by the party.
His words: “The guidelines are also clear on how registration materials are to be handed over and distributed. It says officials for the assignment are prohibited from handing over registration forms, other materials inclusive of registration data in a manner not prescribed by the exercise to unauthorized persons, and that the materials (forms, registers and others) are to be distributed directly to the Registration Officers, and records of the distribution are to be captured and reported accordingly.”
Lai has been at daggers-drawn with his Governor, Abdulrazaq, over control of the party in the state, leading to factionalisation that has torn the party down the middle.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the outburst by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, dismissing the APC’s exercise has further confirmed that the exercise is a huge scam.
The party asserts that Lai Mohammed’s revelation that over 80% of the registration units in his home state, Kwara, do not have membership register or membership registration slips further confirms revelations that the registration and revalidation is nothing but a fictitious name and figure writing exercise.
The PDP notes that the lamentation of Lai Mohammed in revealing that the fraudulent exercise is being carried out without the party membership register or temporary slips given to those who purportedly registered, has also confirmed to the world that the figures being compiled and bandied by the APC are mere fabrications.
The party adds, “Moreover, the revelation in Lai Mohammed’s outburst that the APC has been torn into shreds with warring factions going for one another’s throat shows that the party has collapsed and will totally fizzle before the 2023 elections.
“It is puzzling that Lai Mohammed is now crying about manipulations, intimidations and use of security forces by APC leaders to rig an ordinary membership registration exercise, whereas that has been the stock in trade of the party since its emergence.
“It is on record that all the elections in which APC had participated, there had always been illegal deployment of security forces, manhandling of voters, vote buying as well as manipulation of figures, and Lai Mohammed had always praised APC for being ‘victorious’ in such electoral parodies.
“It is therefore not surprising that the APC’s registration and revalidation exercise has collapsed across the nation to the extent that in Taraba, compatriots are being lured with N10, 000 per registration; in Kano, Nigerians are being threatened for refusing to participate; in Kogi, the APC is faced with the rejection of offer of all sorts of bribe; in Kwara, people are being beaten and locked up in police station over their rejection of the APC while in President Muhammadu Buhari’s home Katsina state, the exercise was a huge flop.
“From the evidence provided by Lai Mohammed, it is manifestly clear that APC’s plot to beguile Nigerians with a fraudulent membership registration exercise has failed as their attempt to come out with a padded fictitious figure has been exposed.
“Our party has but pity for the APC in its exposed plot. The PDP charges Nigerians to remain resolute in their rejection of the APC, a deceptive, fraudulent and overtly corrupt party that has brought so much pain and anguish to our dear nation.”