By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) women on Tuesday declared that they will continue to engage in lobby, rather that fight, in ensuring that more women are included in appointments and elective positions.
The women, who decried the treatment that has so far been melted out to them by the party leadership, said, “But we are not going to fight anybody”.
The women, who made this known during the inauguration of PDP Action Women Committee at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, said that inspite of their persuasion that the party should grant them 35 percent affirmation, the leadership of PDP has not done so.
Speaking during the inauguration, the PDP National Woman Leader, Hajia Maryam Waziri, said, “we all agreed to be part of this committee during our summit last month. And this committee will serve as a lobby and mobilization committee towards the 2023 general elections.
“Women are all crying about their 35 percent affirmative action. And during our last National Working Committee (NWC) meeting, before the commencement of congresses, I reminded the leadership of the party, about the promise the party made to women during our 87 National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.
“Immediately I mentioned it, the National Secretary was asked to do a memo and send to all state chapters, so that women can be given their 35 per cent affirmative action.
“But, unfortunately, three zones have concluded their congresses, still, the story remains the same. We still have only women leader. Instead of us to have at least four women in the zonal working committee.
“And I have sent statements to all the women groups across the country, reminding them to all come out for their right. Unfortunately, we only have women leader in South East, South-South zones and other zones that have completed their zonal congresses.
“But we are not going to fight anybody, we are going to lobby out elders to include women in appointment and elective position”, she said.
In his response, the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, who changed the name of the committee from Women Lobby Committee to Action Women Committee, said that the 35 percent is already taken.
According to Secondus,, “The 35 percent is already taken, but we believe that we must drive it to logical conclusion.
“We are also setting a new guidelines that will give youths and women free forms and also give them some form of preference.
“We believe that if PDP forms government in 2023, it will be 50-50 between men and women because women have what is needed for national development”, he assured.
Secondus added that at time like this, women need to come out because “security has collapsed, the economy has collapsed, virtually in all facets of our lives, we are in trouble. And the women are the people to lead, of a fact and a truth.
“When you come out, by international convention even during the civil war, naturally you don’t touch women and children. So, you have a very important role to play in our country today.
“If this country must remain one, if this country must remain united, if this country must be revived and if we must get it back on track, it means that women must be at the forefront to lead for the revival of our country. If you don’t come out to speak out, it will be difficult.
“So I am not surprised that you are coming up with this committee at this critical time, it is so important to our country and party.
“This is the time to speak out, I pray that what is going on in the country, will not consume us. Virtually all the state of the nation is not safe. And there is nobody in control.”
In her acceptance speech, the Chairperson of the committee and Senator from Ekiti South, Mrs, Biodun Olujimi said women constitute over 50% of the society and of PDP, and the need to always honour them, is very, very important.
Olujimi said, “”This is another agenda setting program of our party for other parties to emulate. No doubt, women, constitute over 50% of our society and of our party, and the need to always honor them, is very, very important.
“The formation of this lobby group is a challenge to everyone, including our leaders on the need to always factor women into the development of our party, and the nation at large.
“It is right to say women are an integral part of any strong and forward looking party, such as PDP. In fact, the participation of women in the socio political and cultural affairs is not just a goal, but central to sustainability of the democratic process.
“The inauguration of this committee will go a long way to give women in our party, a sense of belonging, allow for healthy networking, build confidence in the political process. Ensure internal democracy and strengthen our commitment to the ideals of justice, equity and fairness,” she said.