No room for parallel membership registration- Tunde Balogun, Caretaker Chairman APC Lagos

Fourth from left: Hon Tunde Balogun, Caretaker Chairman, Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr. Muhammad Bashir, Chairman, APC membership registration committee from Abuja addressing the gathering at the stakeholders meeting held at the party secretariat in Lagos on Monday

Caretaker Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Chief Tunde Balogun, said on Monday that there would be no basis for any parallel membership registration and validation in the chapter.

He said the process would not be hijacked, urging party faithful to get ready for the assignment.

Balogun warned against a plot to create crisis by certain aggrieved members by conducting a parallel registration, saying it would fail.

He spoke yesterday at a stakeholders’ meeting held at the party secretariat on Acme Road, Ogba, Ikeja, ahead of the exercise billed to start in Lagos next Tuesday.

Dismissing the antics of those pushing for factional registration, Balogun said: “To prevent this, we want to register people freely and we will do it in a fair manner so that no one will feel cheated and neglected. I don’t see the possibility of their success. They will fail.”

He said the chapter would embark on aggressive mobilisation of members, adding that new members would also be attracted to the platform.

The Chairman of the Registration Committee, Dr. Mohammed Bashir, advised against mudslinging, saying members should work together and ensure that “nobody is excluded, nobody is left behind.”

Member House of Representatives Hon James Faleke (Ikeja Constituency) wondered why existing party members should be asked to re-register, instead of revalidating their membership, citing the re-registration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the column for revalidation of existing members was missing on the party’s membership registration form.

Member Lagos State House of Assembly Jude Idimogwu urged the committee to ensure that non-indigenes, including the Igbo and the Hausa were given sense of belonging during the exercise.

Party leaders at the meeting included  Local Government and Chieftaincy Commissioner Dr. Wale Ahmed, Caretaker Secretary Lanre Ogunyemi, Caretaker Assistant Publicity Secretary Abiodun Salami, federal lawmakers Rotimi Agunsoye,  Ganiyu Johnson, Jimi Benson, Bashiru Dawodu, Gbolahon Yishawu, Hons. Nurudeen Saka-Solaja, Suraju Tijani, Idimogwu, Sentoji David, Wale Rauf, Fatai Mojeed, and the Chairperson of Conference 57 and Chairman, Lagos Mainland Local Government, Omolola Essien.

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A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.