By ANDREW ESSIEN ABUJA
Women within the All Progressives Congress (APC) have said that they will be pushing for 108 House of Representatives seats at the very minimum, with states producing 3 elective women per state.
To achieve this ahead of 2023 general elections, the party’s women wing a lobby group to actualize this vision, tasking same on interfacing and getting the buy-in with party leaders and stakeholders within the polity.
Currently, only 11 female lawmakers are in the House of Representatives out of the total number of 360 members.
To achieve this, the APC women wing has inaugurated a lobby panel to interface with the party leaders and Male politicians across the country.
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.
Speaking at a strategic meeting held at the APC national secretariat Thursday in Abuja, the women representative in the party’s National Caretaker Committee, Stella Okotete, said the plan is provide platform for three women in each state to contest the House of Representatives election in 2023.
“In some countries like history 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 108 positions minimum in the House of Representatives will be achieved.
“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% 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.
“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.”
While tasking women on financial independence, she said: “We need to do a whole lot of work as regards identifying strong women, electable women that can be elected under this platform, the APC.
“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 syndrome (PHDs)’ that I found when I resumed here. We need to discontinue that.”
The APC women leader said she has partnered International Republican Institute (IRI) to come up with a lobby strategy to address all of the challenges confronting the women fold.
“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,” she said