Enugu—The All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, has promised to give automatic tickets to women vying for political positions in the party.

Enugu State Chairman of the party, Mr. Okechukwu Nkoloagu, who made the pledge ,Tuesday, in Enugu when he received in audience members of the Gender Affirmative Action, GAA, lobby group, said women must be articulate and active in politics.

He said:  “We cannot give position to a woman simply because she is a woman. The woman has to be active and articulate.

“In APGA, women aspirants do not go through primaries, but through confirmation. That is what APGA law says,’’ the chairman said.’

Nkoloagu pledged the support of the party toward the attainment of the 35 per cent affirmative action, but quickly added that it should be done in phases.

“I like the affirmative action, but it should be done in phases starting with orientation of women on political issues to enable them to be prepared for politics.

“Election is different from politics because you have to plot, lobby and work hard to get elected.
“In fact, political parties are not the problem, but the women themselves because they have to brace up to the challenges and be focused,’’ the chairman said.

He, however, promised to do everything possible to encourage women to participate actively in politics through the party’s women’s wing.

Earlier, the leader of the lobby group, Mrs Ijeoma Uzoma, said that the aim of the visit was to sensitise political parties to include women in their political structure.

Uzoma said this had become necessary in order to attain the 35 per cent affirmative action required by the Beijing Conference and National Gender Policy.

“Women have something to offer to the country. Evidence abounds of women’s contributions to national development,’’ she said.

The leader, however, called on political parties to include women in their executive positions aside giving them the position of  woman leaders.

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