The first civilian Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima is engaged in what appears to be a game of hide and seek with registration officials sent by the All Progressives Congress to the state.
Yerima, as he is popularly referred to by admirers, was in his hometown Bakura as early as 12pm to revalidate his membership on Saturday. He waited until 10:00pm for registration officials only to be informed to return to his residence in Gusau, the state capital, to be captured.
In Gusau, he waited for several hours only to be told to wait until Sunday. As at 6pm, the former governor who is being linked with moves to join the Peoples Democratic Party was still waiting. Top ranking members of the APC in the state including the immediate past governor, Abdullaziz Yari, have since revalidated their membership.
The exercise which started on February 13, in the state was chaired by Alhaji Karetu Lawal along with six other members who were given mandate by the National Headquarters of the APC to conduct the exercise across the 14 local government councils beginning with the party’s top-ranking members.
An audio clip of a statement made by an APC stalwart from Bakura Local Government Area, Alhaji Bello Dankande-Gamji which has gone viral on social media gave a hint that what was happening to the former governor was pre-arranged.
Gamji said, “Former Governor Ahmed Sani has since in 2019 abandoned the APC and has been romancing with the ruling PDP in Zamfara state.” After accusing the former governor of hobnobbing with the PDP, he said, “Yerima donated heavily to the PDP candidate and also silently campaigned for him (during the last State House of Assembly bye elections).
“We will not allow Yerima to be registered in the APC no matter what will happen and we will resist any pressure from anyone who will try to register him as an APC member.”
When contacted, the former governor maintained that he has remained consistent since joining partisan politics in 1999.
He explained that he has spoken with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and the APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni on the issue, stressing that, “I will still wait to see the committee’s final action against me.”
Our chances of reclaiming Oyo now brighter, says Folarin
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content, Senator Teslim Folarin, has said, the ongoing All Progressives Congress membership revalidation/registration exercise, will boost the party’s chances of reclaiming Oyo State in 2023.
Folarin, said this after revalidating his APC membership at Unit 002, Ward 5, Idi Ose, in the Ona Ara Local Government Area, on Saturday.
The former Senate Leader who represents Oyo South Senatorial District, described the party’s decision to embark on the exercise as well thought out.
He said, “It has turned out to be the tonic, the boost needed by our party to get stronger, greater, bigger and I am glad about this.
“In Oyo State, the APC is obviously the leading party. It is the party to beat. We lost the last gubernatorial election in the state because of the fragmentation in our party. And now with the large number of people enthusiastically joining our party, it is obvious even to the blind that APC is the party to belong to for victory.”
In response to a question about a possible governorship contest in 2023, Folarin said, for now, his main focus is how to help build the APC.
Edo APC woos others, PDP describes revalidation as shambolic
The Edo State chapter of APC and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, have disagreed over defection claims.
The State APC Caretaker Chairman, Col David Imuse (retd), in an interview in Benin, on Friday said, “This is not an era of decamping. It is time for people who want to join APC to come and join. We have 2,627 units in Edo State. Until the exercise is over, I cannot tell you who has registered in the various wards. The registration is unit based.
“A lot of people have been calling me and I can assure you that the registration is ongoing and we are not against anybody but we are encouraging them to go and register or revalidate their membership.
However, the State PDP Chairman, Tony Aziegbemi, mocked the APC for holding what he described as a sham.
Aziegbemi said, “The report I am getting from the field shows that the registration/revalidation exercise is in shambles. No one is coming out from the 75 per cent of the units we have monitored and the APC is using propaganda to try to cajole the people to come out and register.”
Exercise will eliminate godfatherism, says VON DG
In Enugu State, the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, has expressed delight that the exercise was providing an opportunity for the party to eliminate godfatherism.
Okechukwu said this after revalidating his membership at his Eke Ward, in Udi Local Government Area, on Sunday.
He faulted concerns raised by some of the party’s leaders including: Chief Bisi Akande, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the immediate past APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
Okechukwu said, “Let Comrade Oshiomhole tell you that APC revalidation and registration exercise is unconstitutional or Pa Akande, that it is waste of resources, tell them it is fake news, for the registration exercise is to make the people the genuine owners of our great party and not godfathers. APC constitution mandates us under section 9(4) to update our membership every six months.”