A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Salihu Lukman has blamed crisis witnessed in the party during election years among contenders on poor management of membership register, Daily Times gathered.
He as well lampooned politicians for their selfish and undemocratic conduct during membership recruitment exercise.
Lukmam, who is the Director General, Progressive Governors Forum expressed this as his personal position which does not represent the view of any APC Governor or the Progressive Governors Forum.
He said the party in Edo state is in crisis because major stakeholders in the state doctored membership register and manipulated congresses at wards, local government and state levels ahead of major elections.
“The reality is that electoral jurisprudence may not even recognise or prioritise the challenges of membership recruitment in a political party, which could result in ambiguities, conferring more powers to individuals and power blocs in a political party.
“The consequence will include undermining membership participation and therefore reducing the critical task of candidate selection to some technical internal plebiscite, which may have very little or no democratic value involving only small section of the party membership. This reality creates conflicts, which weakens democratic institutions, including political parties, and retard political development”, he said.
In a statement in Abuja on Sunday, he said the polarization of APC in Edo today was as a result of some self-seeking leaders who put the party at risk of settling crisis at the time it should prepare to go into the September 19 governorship election undivided.
He expressed fear that the party may bear the consequences of such division in its membership at the coming poll.
Lukman specificall blamed the leadership of APC for failing to complete the APC computerised membership data register project it started in 2014.
He said if the project had been completed and a standard register been uploaded on the Cloud it would have prevented the desperation of contenders prior to the Edo primary and exit of Governor Godwin Obaseki, over the method to adopt for the primary election.
He added that if APC is to open itself through membership recruitment, the debate around the issue of whether there is a credible and verifiable membership register will not be taking place.
Lukman raised many questions begging for answer concerning management of the party’s membership.
“For instance, how members are recruited would have a lot of implication in terms of the format that would be used to guarantee participation. Take for instance, the argument that APC membership register is domicile on the Cloud.
“Who upload it to the Cloud with whose authority and who is managing it? How was it generated in the first place? Are the members of the APC in the register that is said to exist on the Cloud, financial members? Who did they pay their membership dues to?”, he asked.
Lukman submitted that APC can only be progressive if it is able to encourage and promote competition within the party as a prelude to electoral contests.
By Tunde Opalana, Abuja