From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
In accordance with the demand for the emergence of more Nigerian women in elective positions, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared its nomination forms free for all the women contesting any elective position in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
APC Women Leader, Dr Betta Edu, who made the disclosure during a press conference held at the party’s national secretariat in Abujw on Thursday, also promised to mobilise Nigerian women for the ruling party to retain power beyond 2023.
Her words: “today I have the permission of the great, very experienced, gender sensitive chairman, senator Abdullahi Adamu to actually announce to the Nigerian women that APC as a party has provided a platform for them to run. One of the very strong point which the chairman promised when he took over as the chairman of APC is that he will mainstream women, he will give us a seat at the table.
“He will ensure that we continue to be a voice and continue to contribute our quota to the development of the country. Our president has done a lot on mainstreaming women supported by his dear wife, Her Exellency Hajia Aisha Buhari, a mother with conscience, a mother who has performed exceptionally well.
“To further buttress that point that we belong to the ruling party, the largest party in Africa and we want to make strong statement that we stand by inclusion, mainstreaming, for women. The party has gone ahead to approve that women will be running on a free nomination form in our party. Before we jump, they have thrown the ball to our court.
“Before now, we have women say we cannot afford the form, we are vulnerable, we are unable, but now you have been given the platform with the greatest chance of emerging as a winner of an election because you will be running on the ticket of the ruling party. Not just the ruling party but the party that has performed, a party that is gender sensitive. A party that has provided welfare for Nigerians. A party that is ready to mainstream women.
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“You will be running on this platform. The ball is now in our court, women we must rise up. We are going into series of processes that will lead up to the 2023 elections. We must come out, we must be actively involved. Go from door to door and sensitize women on the INEC voters registration that is going on. We must go from door to door at the grassroots level, at every level to remind every single woman that they should register.
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“We must also ask them where is your PVC. They must dust it and keep it ready because that is our power. That is the power of the APC women, that is the power of the Nigerian women and that is the power to mainstream women as our party APC is already doing.
“Beyond that we are going to a lot of work, from lobbying to sensitization to financial mobilization for the grassroot women. From the polling units all the way up, welfare packages, mega medical health outreaches, skill acquisition and all other interventions that will begin almost immediately.
“Please, tell your sisters, brothers and tell the next woman that it is time to join APC. It is time to join the mega train. It is time to be mainstreamed and we must come all out with dedication to deliver. Remember, women we have the strongest voice, women we have the strongest determination. Women are those group of people that can’t be pushed around, we can’t be bribed, we can’t be bought over. We are APC women, we know what we want. We will go all out. We will fight for it. And we will achieve it. This indeed is our opportunity,” she charged.
Bringing the message of hope on the readiness of the Nigerian women to win the 2023 elections for the APC, the Women Leader said: “I want to thank all the great women, all the stakeholders who had played important roles for us to achieve this feat today. This is just the first step in a long walk. Together holding our hand, we will walk the walk, we will talk the talk and we will deliver 2023 elections as women and this is our promise. This is our mandate. Be the support, be the strength.
“If a woman comes out to contest give them the support that they need, don’t pull them down. It is already much on society, give them the support that they need. I believe that together APC women, Nigerian women will deliver the 2023 elections across board. We must deliver APC in the general elections and every woman taking her place, together we will deliver APC in the next general elections,” she assured.