The All Progressives Congress, South African Chapter on Monday urged party leaders to redouble efforts at sealing cracks in the party’s walls to stop further defection of members.
The Chairman of the chapter, Bola Babarinde, said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria.
Babarinde, also a member of the Elders Council APC Diaspora Leaders, expressed concerns over recent defections of some aggrieved members to the Peoples Democratic Party.
He said: “The recent APC primaries conducted nationwide leave much to be desired.
“Most of the candidates were headhunted, handpicked, and conscripted which made old committed members be aggrieved because it negates the principle of democratic practice.
“This has given birth to dissenting voices and agitations among the ranks of APC family; there are splinter groups all over Nigeria which APC need to manage carefully otherwise it may consume the party.”
Babarinde said that Lagos State had a fair share of such political turbulence, where certain groups, like the Lagos4Lagos Movement, came up to challenge the status quo in Lagos political culture.
He said that democracy is about conflict resolution, deepening public debate, and settlement based on utilitarian principles devoid of self-gain, vested interest, fame and all activities that will promote public service.
“However, when a group decides to align and join forces with the opposition, then that is when political prostitution and party switchers set in,” he said.
Babarinde said that the development had brought to mind the politics of selfishness and the crab mentality of pulling them down syndrome at all cost, regardless of the negative consequences to the party.
He said that APC and PDP were “strange bedfellows” and it would be a disservice for a party with no ideological similarities and philosophical resemblance to cohabit just because of minor disagreement.
Babarinde added: “This is another warning to APC in Nigeria and especially in Lagos to settle their differences without allowing it to degenerate out of control as soon as possible.
“No matter how trivial the influence of the aggrieved members in Lagos politics is, this is not a positive development in whatever form and attention are needed to curb this disintegration.
“Those who can still be enticed back to the fold should be encouraged to return and be rehabilitated.
“We cannot afford too many cracks in our fold as the opposition is desperate to take advantage of our mismanagement of success.”
According to him, the only way to promote peace in the party is to allow internal democracy to strive instead of the imposition of candidates on the members.
“We are all members and should have faith and trust in the leadership,” he said.
On the Direct Primaries clause in the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill awaiting Presidential assent, Babarinde said that it would boost the confidence of party members.
He said: “We, the APC faithful in the Diaspora are ready to put in our best efforts for a stronger and stable APC for better performance in 2023.
“This is the reason we are in support of direct primaries for electing candidates that will represent our party.
“No matter the amount of resources for this exercise, the advantage over-weighs whatever cost implications.
“We can also deploy the use of technology in the process to reduce cost and increase credibility and integrity of the process.”
The APC chieftain said that the chapter was looking forward to the inclusion of diaspora members in the National Working Committee and National Executive Committee of the APC during the party’s forthcoming national convention.