PDP Convention: How consensus failed in S-West, S-East, N-East, S-South

By Luminous Jannamike 

ABUJA – The Women in Politics Forum, WIPF, has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cannot afford to ignore its constitutional provision for gender mainstreaming in choosing her next set of National Executives this weekend. 

It also warned that the consequences of adopting a ‘Unity List’ during the forthcoming PDP national convention, at the expense of the provisions of Section 6 (7) of the party’s constitution, which states that ‘in the nomination for party offices, not less than 35 percent shall be reserved for women’, were better imagined than experienced.

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Briefing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, WIPF’s President, Barr. Ebere Ifendu, urged  the leadership of the main opposition party to sit up, take notice of the sentiments in the country and do the needful; stressing that ignoring the advice would be at the PDP’s peril ahead of the 2023 elections. 

She stated that the provisions of the PDP Constitution were sacrosanct and unique in this respect.

According to Ifendu, in a recent Channels TV interview, a chieftain of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Waziri exposed the thinking of many others when he reportedly claimed that the female demographic do not possess the capacity to add value to the party in any significant portfolio apart from Women Leader.

Consequently, she said: “Our members who are drawn from the PDP are rudely shocked at the negation by the party’s leadership of its many promises and particularly the seemingly but willful denial of the provisions Section 6 (7) of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017). 

“Notwithstanding the constitutional provisions, the NEC resolutions and the guiding rules for congresses and the national convention, the party has proceeded to endorse through consensus (agreement) several positions none of whom is a woman.

“WIPF wishes to bring to the attention of the leadership of the PDP that its handling of this issue will make or mar the confidence which the female demographic presently reposes in the PDP. The entire world is watching and looking to see what PDP will do.

“Should PDP think of ignoring this provision, as a coalition of women politicians, we believe it is time to test that provision along with those of Sections 6(5) and 33 (2) that say the National convention is only Supreme within the limits prescribed in the constitution. 

“We therefore join our members who belong to the PDP to call on its leadership to sit up, take notice of the sentiments in the country and do the needful.  

“Undoubtedly, the deleterious effect of a coordinated revolt by the female demographic of the party is better imagined than experienced.”

In the same vein, she said the organisation would explore a judicial interpretation of relevant constitutional provisions as a means of securing the rights of its members who belong to the PDP. 

“We are already in Court with over a hundred women’s groups with Nigeria Women Trust Fund leading in this regard, with the Federal Government on the enforcement of the Nigeria Gender Policy. We will not hesitate to use the Courts to ensure PDP and all other political parties respect their legal documents.

“We are, however, confident that the Convention Committee will exercise its powers to ensure that justice is done to avoid legal and other sanctions by Nigerian Women against the PDP,” she said.

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