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Saturday, 19 October 2013

APC to Meet over Harmonisation Challenges


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 APC logo
Onyebuchi Ezigbo  
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has scheduled a meeting of its  interim national executive  for Tuesday in Abuja, to discuss how to tackle the problems arising from the harmonisation of party structures at grassroots and state levels.
The meeting, which will involve all zonal leaders of the party, is coming on the heels of a brewing crisis over the arrangements for the nationwide membership registration.
THISDAY gathered that the planned meeting has become necessary to finalise the composition of state harmonisation committees and to address outstanding issues relating to membership registration.
The agenda of the Tuesday  meeting has also been planned to discuss and approve the list of the harmonisation committees as well as the list of persons to handle the membership registration.
APC, an amalgam of key opposition parties,  had set out guidelines  for merging its constituent parts  at the local government and state levels, by saying that nine members be nominated to represent women, youths and elders by each senatorial zone, former and current members of national and state assemblies, governors, president and their deputies and members of the interim leadership.
According to the party, the idea was to save as representative as possible and to avoid unnecessary acrimony.
But it was learnt that the guidelines did not go down well with some leaders of the merging political parties, who had since refused to adapt to the prevailing scenario, insisting that it failed to correctly assess their strength and weaknesses.
For instance, the party had earlier said it would commence membership registration  by first week of October but the exercise could not go on as planned due to what a party source ascribed to as machinery and logistics challenges.
However, a source told THISDAY that the issue causing the delay in the commencement of the membership registration was  beyond logistics as there were complaints that some influential members of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) were trying to hijack the process.
The aggrieved leaders, one of whom spoke to THISDAY  yesterday in Abuja, said they were going to reject any move to impose on them any arrangement that did suit them and which would in the end not help the party.
"We will not accept a situation where people will be drafted from one part of the country to carry out party membership registration in a place where they are not familiar with.
"In the same vein, we will kick against any plan to have loyalists of a former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, control the state harmonisation committees. All we want is a balanced approach, whereby the party  allow leaders from various sections of the country, especially where there are APC governors in charge of state affairs  free hand to constitute these committees and to organise the membership registration in their areas, " he said.
THISDAY learnt that a similar disagreement over the list of harmonisation committee in Benue State had led to a crisis of confidence among the leaders with threats  of litigation and defection by aggrieved groups.
According to an APC chief from the state, the disagreement over the composition of the harmonisation committee is boiling over and is threatening the cohesion within the newly merged parties in the state.
Investigations showed that on one side of the divide are  Senator Daniel Saror,  Chief Benjamin Abohor, member of the House of the Representatives, Alhaji Abubakar Usman (Young Alhaji,  Ambassador  Mike Gasha and a former chairman of the Ushongo Local Government Area, Tarfa Ahembe.
Members of the other group, it was learnt, were being led by the Senate Minority Leader and former Benue State Governor, Senator George Akume.
THISDAY learnt that because of the disagreement,  a member of the House of Representatives, representing  Kwande/ Ushongo Federal Constituency, Chief Ben Aboho, had already planned to dump APC along with his supporters for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But an APC official has defended the party's plan for membership registration, which he said, was the best way to maintain a credible register.
 
ThisDay

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