President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the ongoing membership registration and revalidation exercise of the All Progressives Congress, APC, is targeted at making over 100 million Nigerians members of the ruling party.
According to Lawan, the exercise was conceived to further democratise the party ahead of the 2023 general elections and also reposition the APC to dominate the country’s political space by winning more elective seats at the state and federal levels of government.
The Senate President made this known immediately after revalidating his membership of the party at Katuzu ward in Bade local government area of Yobe North Senatorial District on Saturday.
Lawan, while speaking to journalists, said the registration and revalidation exercise would afford the youths a critical role in governance, and provide Nigerians at the grassroots the opportunity of being major stakeholders in the nation’s decision making process.
He added that the exercise became imperative in view of the need to weed out members of the APC who had defected to other political parties and were still recorded in the party’s register and also to afford new or intending members the opportunity to get registered.
“The youths, who will be the majority of those that would register, will now have very critical role to play in the politics of APC and the democratic process of Nigeria.
“I also want to say that this exercise is essential because we have names of people who have decamped to other political parties and yet their names are in the register of APC.
“We cannot continue to carry the names of people who have shifted ground. And, essentially, democracy is about the people to take and make decisions on behalf of themselves.
“This is about taking the party to the grassroots. As Mr. President said in Daura, the party should be built from bottom up.
“The people at the grassroots should have the party, so that when it is time for them to make decisions on whom they should vote for in congresses, they should take that decision.
“When it is time for them to decide who should run for any political office, it should be their decision. So, this is further democratising the APC.
“And, I believe that this exercise is one that the APC should approach very positively. We should not register nothing less than a hundred million Nigerians. And we have every chance and every reason to register more than one hundred million Nigerians in this exercise,” Lawan said.
He further disclosed that the exercise would continue after the March deadline to enable young Nigerians who attain the legal age of eighteen thereafter, an opportunity to become registered members of the ruling party.
Lawan said, “This exercise of registration and revalidation does not terminate at the end of this month or in the first week of March.
“This period is only given to provide for a symbolic environment for registration and revalidation.
“The process will continue even after then, because we would have to register many more who will become eighteen years of age after this exercise is over.”
The Senate President, while appealing to party faithful across the country to shun infighting amongst themselves, called on leaders of the party at the state levels to embrace reconciliation and desist from attempts to thwart the efforts of intending members who are willing to join the party.