The All Progressives Congress has extended its ongoing nationwide membership registration/revalidation by three weeks.

The exercise was initially scheduled to end on February 23 before the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee extended it by three weeks.

The party, however, announced the latest extension in a statement issued on Thursday by the National Secretary, Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, John Akpanudoedehe.

The statement was titled, ‘APC extends membership registration/revalidation and update exercise for three weeks’.

The APC leadership said the audit of the reports received from the National Membership Registration, Revalidation and Update Committee, the States’ Registration Committees and that of the party’s Situation Room indicated, among other issues, that most states, for varied reasons, started late and require additional time to conclude the exercise.

Other issues include “an avalanche of applications from critical stakeholders, including all states caretaker chairmen, for an extension of time to capture Nigerians who are still desirous of joining the fold of the progressives.”

According to the statement, the CECPC under the leadership of the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, has done everything possible to keep to the earlier timeline.

The leadership said it had, however, become necessary to extend the duration of the exercise.

“Consequently, the CECPC has approved the recommendation of the National Committee for the Membership Registration, Revalidation and Update, to extend the duration of the exercise by three weeks,” the statement read.

Earlier, chairmen of the state chapters of the party had called for the extension of the exercise.

The chairmen, at a press conference in Abuja, commended the leadership of the APC and the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee for the wisdom to organise the exercise.

The Chairman of the APC in Borno State/Chairman, Forum of APC State Chairmen, Ali Dalori, who was accompanied by some of his counterparts, noted that the exercise had “tremendously increased the membership base of the party since the exercise began, and has continued to increase it as the exercise progressed.”

Dalori said, “Due to logistics bottlenecks and the complexity of the distribution process of registration materials, a number of states only received the materials to commence the second phase of the registration exercise not too long ago and will, therefore, not be able to meet up with the reviewed schedule timetable of the exercise without denying so many willing citizens the opportunity to join the party.”

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party has asked the APC to stop pushing its membership registration in the public space as Nigerians could no longer be swayed by such “derisory venture.”

The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Thursday, said the decision by the APC to again extend its membership registration had confirmed that the exercise was a mere manipulation designed to produce a bogus figure.

The statement read in part, “Our party has nothing but pity for the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker Committee which has become overweighed by the burden of producing an inflated membership register, following the rejection of the APC by Nigerians.”

The statement noted that the APC ought to know that the game was over, after Nigerians had allegedly “rejected their monetary inducement of N10,000 per registration, even after they offered night registration in some states.”

The PDP therefore advised the APC leadership to note that further extension of the botched exercise would not attract the sympathy of Nigerians or give any credence to any figure they intended to come out with.”

The statement further read, “The outburst by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and other APC leaders, who were ostensibly edged out in the membership allocation racket had already exposed the plots by the APC to launch a fabricated register.

“Our party (the PDP) urges the APC leadership to listen to voice of reason coming from elders of their party like former Governor Bisi Akande, and end this dance of shame.”

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