All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker Committee chairman in Kwara State, Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa (BOB) has rejected the membership registration and validation exercise in the state, describing it as a sham.
Bolarinwa made his rejection of the exercise known on Sunday in his home town, Agbeku in Ifelodun local government area of the state after revalidating his membership.
Speaking with journalists, Bolarinwa said it is unfortunate that 12 days since the commencement of the exercise, registration officials were coming to his unit for the first time.
“It is unfortunate that it is this time that somebody like me would be registering which is due to no fault of mine, but because some people deliberately what to deregister lots of members of this party.
“The APC registration exercise commenced on Feb 9, today is the twelfth day of the registration exercise.
“Here, in this unit, which is market square in Agbeku, few hours ago is the first day that the registration officials would be appearing, I have been here a number of times, but it is quite unfortunate that we have not seen any registration officials,” he said.
The chairman said that vast majority of the members of APC in Kwara were denied registration, which he said was against the guidelines and directives of the party.
“Looking at the register there, this unit, on the twelfth day of the registration exercise, I am the eightieth person that would register for the first time in this unit,” Bolarinwa added.
He said the situation was not peculiar to his town and unit alone as it was the same all over the 16 local governments of the state.
Bolarinwa added that in Agunjin ward, which was his ward with eight units, it was only Agbeku unit one that the registration officials have appeared for the first time, adding that it was very disturbing.
“Leaving my ward aside, the entire local government of Ifelodun, it is also complaint galore.
“Since the exercise commenced, report getting to me from time to time as the chairman of the party is that officials are not available at authorized places all over the local government.
“So, it is not peculiar to Ifelodun, the same thing goes for other local governments. In Offa, as I talk to you, no registration exercise has not taking place there, so is in Isin, also in Irepodun, in Oyun, in Ekiti, in Oke Ero.
“In Kwara Central, Ilorin West where the governor comes from no registration, so also in Ilorin South, Ilorin East and Asa and major parts of Kwara North.
“What we see there or we heard are happening there is just skeletal registration being done, registration being done in note books or registration carried out in unauthorised places.
“Maybe you see some group of people keep the register with them in their respective homes, saying they are doing registration. This is the kind of experience that we have heard.
“Even here that the exercise is happening, I just decided to come around to spend the weekend at home, that was when I got to know that registration officers are around.
“I said okay; let me use the opportunity to register, although we have made much noise, we have also written several letters to the national leadership of the party,” he added.
According to Bolarinwa, It was quite unfortunate that majority of members of this party were not being registered.
“We have before now called on Sen John Damboyi led committee to do something about it, we have made noise, we have written letters, but it appeared that all we have said fell on deaf ear.
“The day Sen John Damboyi led committee came into this state, his committee has shown bias right from the time.
“There was stakeholders’ meeting which to be called specifically for this registration exercise, we were invited there, but quite unfortunate at what happened to us there.
“We were beating up, we were chased out of the place and Sen Damboyi never deemed it fit to organise any other stakeholders’ meeting. He went ahead with the registration exercise.
“We knew it was going to be like this and when we told him and made reports severally to him because our intention was to assist him, to make him do a very good work at the end of the day.
“We are not surprised that this is what is happening, we are not surprised that Damboyi, from the onset came in here to do the bidding of some individuals and that is what is playing out now,” the chairman said.
According to Bolarinwa; “It is unfortunate that this time around, some people decided to deregister members of the party, rather than working towards increasing the membership base of our party.
“They are working towards making the membership of our party to shrink, to reduce.
“It is unfortunate to hear that all in the name of trying to fill the gap, they are with fictitious names, they are using INEC register to be able to fill up the register to tell them up there that they have members.
“I am using this opportunity to complain to the national leadership of our party to quickly send in another team that would come and oversee the registration exercise in Kwara State to be able to achieve that desire objective that the leadership has in mind.
“They should come up with another committee that would not be bias, that would come and do the work diligently as expected, that is my appeal, because so far, the registration exercise in the state is a sham, it has not met up to the guidelines and directives set up by the party”.
He said in 2018, he conducted similar registration of members together with his executive members and it was a huge success.
Bolarinwa added that it was the registration exercise that laid the foundation for APC to become the ruling party in Kwara.
“It was that registration exercise which was done without any hitch that actually provided the foundation for the victory which we recorded; it was the foundation that made APC to become the ruling party in the state today,” he added.