S’West PDP rallies women, youths to party reform, 2019 elections
UNTIL women and youths are accorded their rightful places in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and allowed to take active part, then the ongoing efforts to reposition and revive the former ruling party ahead of 2019 may remain a pipedream.
The South West arm of the party made this submission at the weekend, as they rallied women and youths members to come out en masse to champion the rebuilding process.
Specifically, they urged women to insist on 35 per cent of offices from national to the ward levels; freely contest for all party seats including that of the national chairman and all should continue to clamour for discipline and strict adherence to the party’s constitution.
National Women Leader of the party, Kema Chikwe, at the South West Women Zonal town hall meeting held in Lagos, said that the PDP would not had lost the 2015 General Elections to the All Progressives Congress (APC), if women were relatively in charge or had active role to play outside of adding up the numbers at rallies.
Chikwe said notwithstanding the defeat, the future of the PDP largely depends on the women. In her words: “Our party PDP is now the main opposition party. What happens to the party in the future depends on the women because they are resilient, genuine, more committed, more caring, more principled, more determined, more understanding, more patient, more loving and more futuristic in politics. Women have to take their own destiny in their hands and plan for the future”.
The leader added that the slim proportion of women who won at the last elections and those given political appointments certainly undermines the contributions of women in the entire political process.
She, however, charged PDP women to fight for internal democracy in order to build political institutions from the wards to the national level and protect their membership.
“Always remember that in politics, no one needs to turn the other cheek to an opponent for a second slap. As women, we must promote peace but fight for justice and stand united. We need to be more assertive in our party, “Chikwe said.
PDP Secretary in the South West, Adepegba Otemolu, observed that despite the disastrous outing at the last election, the party is alive and kicking, adding, “PDP remains the party of today and of the future.”
“But women must take part in politics and not just participate if we are to reposition and rebrand our party to reclaim its rightful place. Over 80 per cent of the participants at our rallies are women, yet they have nothing to show for it.
“Chapter 1, section 5 (6) (7) of our constitution gives women the right to take part and occupy at least 35 per cent of all seats. No party has ever been so magnanimous. Today believed that only the office of Women Leader is reserved for women and women have failed to challenge such illegalities.”
Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Chairman, Ikeja Branch, Tony Ubani, added that one of the significant ways to mobilise women into any political party is to have a woman as either the national chairman, the national secretary or any other key positions.
Former Leader, House of Representatives, Mulikat Akande- Adeola, who is also the South- West zonal women leader of PDP, in her welcome address, said the parley was taking place at the time when the party was undergoing rebranding to mobilise party women to start preparing to stand on their feet to be able to claim their rights.
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