President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, on Saturday painted a brighter future for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), saying the party will continue to dominate Nigeria’s political space beyond the 2023 general election.
Lawan, who spoke after revalidating his membership of the party at Katuzu ward in Bade local government Area of Yobe North Senatorial District, also disclosed that the ongoing membership registration and revalidation exercise of the APC was targeted at making over 100 million Nigerians members of the party.
According to him, the registration exercise was conceived to further democratize the party ahead of the 2023 general poll as well as reposition the APC to dominate the country’s political space by winning more elective seats at the state and federal levels of government.
He emphasised that the conclusion of the party members registration exercise will afford the party to strategise ahead with a view to winning forthcoming governorship polls in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states as well as the general election in 2023.
His words: “The registration exercise will see the party at the national, state, zonal and local government levels moving forward to ensure that APC continues to dominate the political space of Nigeria. We have elections this year in Anambra, and by the grace of God, APC will win that election. We have gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun – these are states that are APC – and we will continue to keep them.
“But in 2023, by the Grace of God, APC should win more National Assembly, gubernatorial seats. APC should continue to dominate the Presidency, and we are not asking for 16 years. We want to do things that will make Nigerians to continue to trust the APC; to continue to identify with our government and presidency because we mean well and will continue to do well for Nigeria”.
Lawan further 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.
According to him, the exercise became imperative in view of the need to weed out members of the APC who had defected to other political parties and are still recorded in the party’s register and also to afford new or intending members the opportunity to get registered.
Said he: “The youth, 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 democratizing 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”.
While appealing to party faithfuls across the country to shun infighting amongst themselves, Lawan called on leaders of the party at the state level to embrace reconciliation and desist from attempts to thwart the efforts of intending members who are willing to join the party.
“I want to also appeal to my party men all across the country. We should not in any way try to stop registration of any Nigerian who wants to be a member of our party. This party has enough space and room to accommodate everyone. And, the broom is there to ensure that we don’t leave any dirt around. So, please, there should be no fighting, and where we have issues in any of our chapters, we should do our best to ensure that we reconcile our people,” he said.
The Senate President who commended the Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Committee for its feat in reconciling aggrieved members of the ruling party, lauded the most recent effort which restored unity among APC factions in Zamfara state.
His words: “Talking about reconciliation, let me commend the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, my Governor, Mai Mala Buni, who has done tremendous work of reconciling people who have fallen apart in our party. He has done so much, and I believe that Nigerians can bear witness. Only a week or so ago, the case of Zamfara was addressed before everybody. But today, we have been able to reconcile APC in Zamfara, credit to the Caretaker Chairman of this party”.