From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Women members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday constituted a strategic lobbying group to brighten the chances of their electoral fortune in the 2023 general elections.
The women under the leadership of their representative in the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee, Stella Okotete, resolved to scale the number of women in the National Assembly to nothing less than 180 members.
Speaking to newsmen after the inauguration, she argued that it is achievable if women can work together and eschew pull her down syndrome.
“We have no reason. No excuse to seat back and allow the normal circumstances or issues derail us or stop us from achieving this. We can only achieve this if we come together. If we speak with one voice. If we discontinue the Pull Her Down (PHD) syndrome that I found when I resumed here. The pull her down. We need to discontinue that.
“And that is why in partnership with International Republican Institute (IRI) come up with a lobby so that we can address all of this issues beyond having women seat on the table. The biggest issue we have as women in politics has to do with finances.
“Can we compete with the men when it comes to funding elections? I can tell you that from this lobby group, we are not just going to lobby for more representation but we will lobby for financial independence of our women at the party level.
“In some countries like history pup it out and it is still been acted and activated in their government. A certain percentage of capital budget is allocated to women owned enterprises. Women owned business promoters. If this is adopted as the ruling party, in government, I can assure you that what we are planning for 2023, the 103 positions or 108 positions minimum will be achieved,” he noted.
Speaking further, she said: “We are about to start our Congresses soon that will lead to the national convention. Gone are the days when we only support women for women leader position. It is our cry. It is our appeal to the men. And I know the party men, a whole lot have met. They are he for she. They think about us. But they just want us to speak with one voice. And I think this is what we are going to do here.
“We are hopeful we will have beyond the women leader position. Other NWC and SWC positions. That will create that traction and visibility. I am sure if we have 35 per cent in the NWC and SWC, nothing will stop our women from being in the ballot for our party. By the grace of God we have more than one rallying point. I love the men of the party. They are ever ready and willing to support us.
“So apart from us creating visibility in lobbying for financial independence. We need to do a whole lot of work as regards identifying strong women, electable women that can be elected under this platform,” she added.
Some of the female politicians in attendance include; Senator Hairat Abdulrasak Gwadabe, Hon Aisha Dukku, Chairman House Committee on INEC, Hon. Iquo Inyang, Chief Mrs Toyin Badmus, the Iyaloja of Abuja among others