By OLASUNKANMI AKONI
As the All Progressives Congress, APC, Lagos State chapter, began the process for the 2015 general elections, the national leader of the party and former Governor of the state, Bola Tinubu, has declared that the party is indivisible, despite all efforts from different quarters to divide the party. He however, assured all members and intending members that the party would follow due process to the letter in the selection of candidates for various offices.
Tinubu, who gave the assurance while addressing members at a stakeholders’ meeting at the weekend, held at the state Secretariat of APC, in Ikeja, urged all prospective and old members to register in accordance with the party’s constitution, saying that only registered members would get the party’s identity cards and be recognized as such.
Speaking shortly after the guidelines for party membership and registration were read to the large crowd by a senior officer of the party, Tinubu, said: “We love peace in this state and I can be at peace wherever you send me. We want peace at various senatorial districts, local governments and ward levels. Let there be peace. We will not allow those who are trying to divide us to succeed. We are indivisible. We are five and six; twin brothers and sisters and that is the only way we can achieve victory.
“If you are contesting and start running a caucus and campaign organization, once that campaign is over, you must dissolve into the party like a cube of sugar.
“We want to show example with Lagos State, because I am still sending some of you to other South West states.We want to show maturity, leadership and good quality; we want to show that we know what we are doing and we will bring the party to victory. In this party, we will remain as one in victory and it must start from now.”
Tinubu warned against using the registration to create division among members. “There is discipline in APC. If you are caught promoting division, you will be suspended pending trial. APC is my party. I do not have a group. We cannot encourage grouping or caucuses in APC. If you want to contest for any office, the procedure is in the party constitution.
“You cannot claim to be an APC member until you register. I appeal to you all to formalise your membership of our great party. The registration starts on February 5 and will last for six days. It starts from 10am to 6pm daily,” he stated.
He assured that all arrangements had been made to ensure a hitch-free registration, saying: “The registration forms are ready. They are pre-numbered and have security codes. Nobody can hijack or hoard the forms because they will serve no purpose.”
Tinubu also urged members to register at the polling units where they voted last, urging those who have relocated to register in their new locations as they will be adequately captured.
He continued: “We are not be a party of riggers. Your physical presence before the registration officers is compulsory. You cannot send your passport and form by proxy. That is where rigging starts and APC will never encourage rigging. You will thumb print and you will be given a counterfoil, which you will present later for the collection of your ID card. Everyone of you will have the opportunity to register. Do not postpone till tomorrow what you can do today. “
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, who was also at the event, in his brief submission, appealed to members to always conduct themselves in an orderly manner during and after the registration exercise, stressing; “We should not fight ourselves over registration. Let us be patient, so that we can achieve our goal.”
APC chairman in the state, Chief Henry Ajomale, commended Tinubu for his quality leadership role.
According to him, “Tinubu has changed the country’s political template”, adding that he was confident that the national leader would lead the party to victory at the national level in the next dispensation.
Other bigwigs at the meeting were: the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Prince Tajudeen Olusi; Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora; Senator Tony Adefuye; Admiral Lanre Amosu (rtd.); Prince Abiodun Ogunleye; Mr. Ademorin Kuye; Mr. Rotimi Agunsoye and State Woman Leader Mrs. Adetoun Adediran.