Senator Ahmed Lawan, the Senate President, has said the ongoing membership registration and revalidation exercise of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is targetting the registration of 100 million persons as members of the ruling party.
Lawan stated this after he revalidated his membership of the party at Katuzu ward in Bade Local Government Area of Yobe North Senatorial District on Saturday, according to a statement by his media office.
The Senate President also said the exercise is necessary to help “weed out” persons who have defected from the party away from its register.
According to the country’s number three citizen, the exercise is aimed at strengthening the party ahead of the 2023 general elections and would also afford the youths and those at the grassroots a critical role in governance.
The statement read: “The youths, who will be the majority of those that would register, will now have very critical role to play in the politics of APC and the democratic process of Nigeria.
“I also want to say that this exercise is essential because we have names of people who have decamped to other political parties and yet their names are in the register of APC.
“We cannot continue to carry the names of people who have shifted ground. And, essentially, democracy is about the people to take and make decisions on behalf of themselves.
“This is about taking the party to the grassroots. As Mr. President said in Daura, the party should be built from bottom up.
“The people at the grassroots should have the party, so that when it is time for them to make decisions on whom they should vote for in congresses, they should take that decision.
“When it is time for them to decide who should run for any political office, it should be their decision. So, this is further democratizing the APC.
“And, I believe that this exercise is one that the APC should approach very positively.
“We should register nothing less than a hundred million Nigerians. And we have every chance and every reason to register more than one hundred million Nigerians in this exercise.”
Lawan stated that the exercise would continue after the March deadline to enable young Nigerians who attain the legal age of eighteen thereafter, an opportunity to become registered members of the ruling party.
He said: “This exercise of registration and revalidation does not terminate at the end of this month or in the first week of March.
“This period is only given to provide for a symbolic environment for registration and revalidation.
“The process will continue even after then, because we would have to register many more who will become eighteen years of age after this exercise is over.”