The Senator representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District, Opeyemi Bamidele and a former lawmaker representing Ekiti North at the Senate, Ayo Arise, have justified the membership revalidation exercise being undertaken by the APC.
The duo said the deft political move by the Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker Committee would help in fortifying the party and give Nigerians an unfettered opportunity to join the party.
Bamidele, who spoke, on Friday, in Iyin Ekiti Ward B after revalidating his membership, said the all-inclusive registration and revalidation exercise would bolster the party’s chances ahead of 2023.
He said: “The issue of registration or revalidation does not call for controversy. The leaders who spoke against it said what they said based on certain criteria, which bordered on the credibility of the process and cost, even though they still participated in the exercise.
“But I believe that the ultimate reason for the exercise is to allow new members to come into the party. Some Nigerians just clocked 18. If we are still running a participatory democracy, then they have to be given the right of belonging in a party. This is necessary because not all party members joined us at inception in 2013.
“For me, I believe the exercise is in order. But the issue that confronts us is more than the issue of revalidation or registration. We have to think about poverty, unemployment of jobless youths and insecurity, which are the real issues confronting us as a nation.
“To be able to address these, we must be able to warm ourselves into the hearts of Nigeria as leaders of APC. Though, these are issues we inherited from a party, PDP that misgoverned Nigeria for 16 years.
”But I believe that we have a better tomorrow if we are all patriotic and do the right thing”.
Arise, after revalidating his membership in Oye Ekiti, headquarters of Oye Local Government, commented on the outcry that followed Femi Fani-Kayode’s recent defection to the APC.
The former lawmaker says the former Aviation minister was free to join APC.
Arise, who was in the Senate between 2007 and 2011 said the revalidation exercise would help in attracting people of means and influence to the APC.
“If Femi Fani Kayode’s criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari is what makes some people resist his coming to the APC, that shouldn’t be a barrier. You can disagree, you can quarrel on issues and you can still come together.
“No criterion to show that Femi is a criminal or ex-convict. Being abusive is a form of disagreement that is common to politicians. If some people have been abusive and they now have a change of minds and think APC was not all that bad as they thought, then he should be allowed to join us.
“If a person like Femi wants to come, it might not be too difficult for him to accept. He was in PDP at a point and also in APC at a point. I believe coming back now, he shouldn’t have bitter opposition”.
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