Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the female members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have threatened to boycott the elections if the main opposition party fails to give them the vice President slot.
The women vowed to sit on the fence if PDP, in the spirit of 35 percent affirmative change, refused to allocate the position to women.
While speaking at the PDP Women’s Consultative Forum, sponsored by International Republican Institute (IRI) at the party’s headquarters, Abuja on Monday, the erstwhile Senator representing Adamawa South Senatorial District in the 8th Assembly, Sen. Grace Bent, vowed to mobilize PDP women whom she said have 50 percent of voting population to boycott the election, unless the party presents a female vice presidential candidate.
Speaking during the PDP Women’s Consultative Forum sponsored by International Republican Institute (IRI) at the party’s headquarters, Abuja on Monday, the former Senator representing Adamawa South Senatorial District in the 8th Assembly, Sen. Grace Bent, vowed to mobilize PDP women whom she said have 50 percent of voting population to boycott the election, unless the party presents a female vice presidential candidate.
Senator Grace Bent disclosed that women have all it takes to ensure the implementation of the 35 percent affirmative change in the party, which reserves 35 percent of political positions to women.
According to Bent, “We are saying that in 2023, if our political party does not present a female as vice presidential candidate, we are not going to support them.
“So, set the ball rolling, all female stakeholders, females women leaders, tell the party, give us female vice president otherwise, we will all sit at home, we shall not vote.
“So you have the knife in your hands by the power that the constitution has conferred on you. You must confront your governors on why you are not having six women.
“Don’t just allow the women to take ex-officio. Who says you shouldn’t have an organising Secretary, a local government chairman, a party chairman at the local government and at the state?
“But invariably what they will do with the 35% is to give you ex-officio’s who are just bench warmers, so they don’t even invite them to meetings.
“My own state is a case study, my state woman leader has not even seen the governor in the last one year, so that is the dilemma.
“So if we are sitting down here, you must understand that we have issues. This meeting should help us to galvanise all these weapons that we have and take it up and run with it so that in 2023, if PDP harnesses all it’s resources, in fact, Nigerians are waiting for PDP, but how PDP uses the women who are 50% of the population in terms of voting is another thing.”
In her remarks, Hon. Mulikat Akande, former Majority Leaders of the House of Representatives, who represented Ogbomoso North, South and Orire Federal Constituency at the lower chamber between 2007 and 2011, tasked PDP women on greater participation in political activities.
Her words, “The men always come together to ensure we don’t get it, but as women, we should support ourselves. “Whether we like it or not, if we put a woman in a position, we can demand accountability from her.
“ We can say we put you there, come and explain to us what you are doing” she said.
The PDP National Woman Leader, Hajiya Maryam Waziri harped on the need for women to be more dedicated in political activities just as she advised against intimidation by men.
Present at the event were representative from IRI, Angie Wambugu, women leaders from the States and female members of the National Assembly elected under PDP.