Says ‘we won’t give tickets to women unfriendly aspirants’
By Omeiza Ajayi & Ezra Ukanwa
Abuja—Against the multiplicity of aspirants who have signified interest in seeking its presidential ticket, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has said President Muhammadu Buhari would work in concert with its National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and other organs of the party to come up with acceptable candidates for next year’s general election.
The party also said it would not cede its presidential ticket to any aspirant known to be a male chauvinist.
APC National Women Leader, Dr Betta Edu, disclosed this when the ‘Hope 23’ women wing of the Yahaya Bello Campaign Organization called on her at the national secretariat in Abuja yesterday.
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While urging the women to remain resilient, Edu charged them to ensure that they get their Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, ready and ensure that other women around them are adequately mobilized to vote for the party.
She said: “There is one very beautiful thing I love about APC. The aspirants who are coming out for the presidential tickets in APC are not in any way just average.
”They are high above and are far above board. I have not seen one who is not good. Now, as a party, we will come together under the leadership of the President, Muhammadu Buhari and of course the national chairman and other leadership structures of our party to decide on who will be the candidates of our dear party.
“Before that decision is made, something requires time that we must do immediately. If indeed you are supporting a candidate in APC, you are supporting Governor Yahaya Bello, you must go out now and begin the door to door mobilization for registration. Go door to door and begin the campaign for voter registration.
“The APC women’s wing will be coming all out, will be going to states to mobilize women to go and register. Remember, if they don’t have their voter’s cards, our work is useless and even if they give any of our aspirants the tickets it will not amount to victory.
”So, we must take our time now. Let us pray for our leaders. Let us pray for our country. Let us pray that the best leader will emerge victorious in our next convention. That is when we can go with our foot soldiers to the polls.
“But one thing is certain. APC will not give its ticket to a presidential candidate who will not favour women. We know our President and all the glass ceilings he has broken. You know our party chairman and all the glass ceilings he has broken for women; giving us free forms.
“Please we want to speak through our SSG to encourage our governor, I will also reach out to him as I am doing to every other governor, let us have female representatives at the National Assembly. Not just one, two, at least three.
”He has already started well so he should reach the final bus stop. For the House of Assembly we want to appeal for at least six women.”
Earlier, Secretary to Kogi State government, Dr Ayoade Arike, noted that women in the state had gained good grounds in politics due to how Governor Yahaya Bello was in the culture of putting them in places of honour.
“We are here to say congratulations on your new office and also to assure you that you have the support of all the women in the Yahaya Bello support group. I need to just let you know of the fact that Yahaya Bello loves women, he gives us a place of honour.
”In Kogi State as we stand from 2016 to date, I have been the SSG, a woman. Not just that, the Head of Service has been a woman. We have a pioneer pension commission and His Excellency said let me put a woman, DG.
“In all the 21 local government areas, all the vice chairman are women. We have six institutions, three of them (leaders) are women. I need to let you know that His Excellency loves to put women in places of honour. He likes to give us relevance,” she said.
The Director, Women Mobilization, Hope 23 Yahaya Bello Presidential Campaign Council, Zara Onyinye, stated that the governor’s appreciation of women coupled with his youthful age are factors that would give him an edge over other presidential aspirants in the party.
She said: “Just like we have been saying, we will vote for a candidate who supports women.
That candidate will definitely stand the chance of winning this election because women form the highest number of voters across Nigeria.
A person who has the women in his heart, has love for women, creates an enabling environment for women, gives them that opportunity to sell; that person is Yahaya Bello and all the women have shown that he has indicated interest as the person who supported them.
The other reason is because he is a youth. Yahaya Bello is a youth, as we all know, and if you check all his appointees in Kogi state, I can say that 95 per cent of them are all youths of Nigeria, and I know the youths will support him.”