20th February, 2021
By Abiodun Esan
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara, Alhaji Hakeem Lawal, has said that he rejected his membership registration slip because over 75 percent of members of his political family were excluded from the registration exercise.
The APC chieftain and son of a former civilian governor in the state, Mohammed Lawal, said this in a statement on Saturday in Ilorin.
“When I got to my polling unit earlier today, I filled the registration booklets and I enjoined them to register others too.
“But to my surprise, their response was that they have been instructed not to register people at the polling units except via foolscap booklets.
“I then asked them rhetorically as to how I will register when my people are not allowed to register!
“In my admonishment to them, I told them: “We said Otoge right?”
” Then let’s show them how it should be done, we should show them that what we truly said (preached) is what we’re doing.
“All of us that are the leaders at the front are nothing without our people, those following us are the most important, they are the reason why we’re in politics.
“You said you brought out materials because of me, you should also know that those who are at the bottom will also get to the top tomorrow, and those at the top may also find themselves below, so you shouldn’t use high or low class in recognising people.
“If they give you any instruction, let them know that our own ways in Magaji Aare is different.
“You can’t give me registration slip and refuse to register my people, if you don’t register them, keep your registration slip!
“I walked away without receiving the registration slip as it wasn’t morally right for me to take it when more than 75 percent of our supporters are unable to do so.
“This, we will continue to speak and act against until the right thing is done.
“I hereby use this medium to call on the Danboyi-led team to make sure the right thing is done in Kwara,” Lawal said.
He said since his arrival in Ilorin a few days ago, he had held series of meetings with his supporters across the state to ascertain the state of the registration exercise in the state.
According to him, what he learnt was that there was outright disenfranchisement of his supporters across board.
“I have received reports as regards the flagrant abuse of our party’s registration guidelines.
” We know that it’s only a means to an end, manipulation of the exercise to serve parochial interests.
” However, I’m happy that Kwarans are watching and taking note.
“The aftermath of the meetings shows that majority of the “UP LAWAL” political family are unable to register as party members.
“The same political family that risked everything for the Kwara liberation struggle to be actualised, with some paying the ultimate price, and many with unhealed internal and external scars, but the future is pregnant they say.
“It’s a sad situation we’ve got on our hands where intending members can’t register and non-existent names are generated to fill up the party registers.
“In other places, INEC registers are being used too, this is certainly against the guidelines of our party, and the rule of fair play and justice,” Lawal said.
The APC chieftain, however, called for calm and peace among party members, adding; “ this time shall pass and the will of the people shall be fulfilled in the end.”