The immediate past National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on Tuesday, faulted the party’s membership revalidation exercise, saying that the exercise was ordered by the party’s Interim Caretaker Committee is contrary to the party’s constitution.
Oshiomhole who stated this while fielding questions from journalists shortly after revalidating his membership of the party at his Unit 1, ward 10, Iyamho, Etsako WestLlocal Government Area of Edo State, added that his membership of the party never expired but he chose to participate in the exercise for peace to reign.
“APC is governed by a constitution and not by man. The constitution only provides for registration and I registered as a member of the APC in 2014 under the Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande. There is nothing in the APC constitution that says a member shall revalidate or renew its membership. Once you registered when you joined the party and you have not decamped, you are a member. So revalidation is strange to our constitution,” the ex-national chairman said.
“I have only done this because I want peace to reign but in doing this, we have to be careful not to create constitutional breach,” he added.
Oshiomhole noted that between 2015 and now people had exited from the party and others had joined; while some had died, adding that it did not make sense to review the register.
“If you ask me as a foundation member who has never decamped to revalidate his membership, it is double registration because there is nothing like revalidation in our constitution. Asking me to revalidate my membership means I was not a member when I have never left the party. So I think the correct language should be either reviewing or updating because it makes sense to review voters register due to the new members that have joined or those that have exited,” the two-term Edo State governor submitted.
He added the party had been updating its register from time to time, noting that most of the governors under the party today became members following the voters’ register update, hence they were able to contest the governorship election under the party.
“So what this means now is that I have come here to do another registration but I insist that my registration never expired within the provision of the APC constitution,” he asserted.
He said, “as for me, I think we should just move on, I am happy I just did it but I don’t need it because my membership has not expired and it can only expire when I decamp, and if I am returning then I can revalidate. History didn’t just begin today if we don’t have a valid register, how did we conduct the congress in 2015 in which 16 million registered APC members voted to nominate president Muhammadu Buhari before the general election,” he queried.
Oshiomhole recalled that at one of the party National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja when he was the national chairman, he had the honour of presenting membership card to President Buhari.