Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Friday formally registered as a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC), with the declaration that the party is leading by example by taking democracy to the grassroots.
Oshiomhole spoke after he registered at Iyamho Primary School in Etsako West Local Government Area and was issued a membership card with number 10018645.
The governor, who urged people in the state to come out en masse and join the party, said the registration process was free, fair and transparent.
According to him, “the issue of membership of the party is open; it is transparent. The location is exactly as you would find in INEC rules. Every polling unit is the unit for registration. That means whether you are a governor, a party chairman, or a leader, you have to go to your polling unit to register as a member of APC.
“The process has been decentralised and very transparent. So it is not a matter of favour as you can see. Even as governor of this state, I had to leave Benin City to come to my village where I am a registered voter to come and register.
“I think this is extremely important. If you look at the turnout of voters across the state and the country, you see the excitement on the faces of the people, which shows that APC has laid a solid democratic foundation on which we can build”, he said.
On the issue of presenting the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC voter’s card for registration, the governor said: “It is to ensure that people register where they are expected to vote. The tendency is for people of little minds to try to acquire many cards in order to use them on Election Day”.
He added: “You know that when it comes to ward congresses, people who are not even members of the party are given emergency party membership to use them to distort the primary election.
“By insisting that you have your voter’s card, you cannot move from one location to another. It is an attempt to copy INEC and decentralise the process and avoid double registration”.
On the possibility of extending the deadline for the registration exercise, Oshiomhole said: “There is no need to talk about extension because there is no evidence of people who want to vote and are prevented. Given the enthusiasm of people who want to register, there might be some polling booths where people are much more than the number of cards available.
“The national secretariat of the APC has given assurance that whatever number of cards required would be provided. So in any event, this is just to kickstart the process that would be continuing everyday because more and more people are likely to join the party”.
Oshiomhole further declared: “The APC registration has shown that we are taking democracy to rural communities and encourage them to become politically conscious, and with that level of consciousness, they will hopefully one day use their numbers to compel people who wield political power not to forget the rural majority.
“Other parties should borrow a leaf from what the APC has done in this exercise. I am proud of it”, he said.