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2023 Elections exposed our lie of having 45 million registered members – APC secretary

Senator Ajibola Basiru, national secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has admitted that the ruling party falsely claimed to have 45 million registered members during the 2023 general election.

Basiru, a former Senate spokesperson, made this revelation during the opening session of the e-membership registration and ‘Train-the-Trainer’ workshop in Abuja on Wednesday.

He described the purported 45 million membership strength of the APC as a “fabrication.”

According to him, the figure was deployed for political reasons, adding that if the party truly had such a massive following, President Bola Tinubu’s victory at the polls would have been assured.

Basiru emphasised that weaponising any political party register will only lead to corruption.

“If we have that membership of 45 million, how come we went to the poll and got votes of less than 10 million? In line with Amilcar Cabral’s doctrine of ‘tell no lies, claim no easy victories’, that has exhumed the lie,” Basiru said.

He continued, “In exposing that, it is not to ridicule anybody. It is to know that when a child falls, he will look at the front. But when an elder falls, he will look back to see where he made a mistake. We made a mistake because the register of the party was a tool for fighting causes we don’t know. The weaponisation of the party register led to corruption.”

“It was on this basis that the National Working Committee decided that one of the cardinal programmes would be to have a digitalised and biometric-based registration system linked with the National Identification Number of all members. This is an exercise we must take with all seriousness to ensure we have a register conducted with integrity.”

Basiru commended the party chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, for not sweeping the issue under the carpet. He urged the trainers and coordinators responsible for producing the new membership register to ensure that no one is admitted without a National Identification Number (NIN).

In his remarks, Ganduje noted that the process will not only drive planning, decision-making, and projection, but will also serve as the basis of reference for any party member seeking appointment at any level or desiring to contest an election.

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