Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Chairman of the Interim National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mai Mala Buni, has foreclosed the possibility of the party giving preference to women during elections especially the party’s forthcoming election into national offices.
Rather, he said the female aspirants would have to slug it out with their male counterparts to win the party’s ticket at any level.
Buni, was reacting to the submission of the Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Hon. Nkiru Onyejeocha, who canvassed for preferential treatment for women during a visit of the South-east caucus of the APC in the National Assembly to the committee yesterday.
He called on women to take up the responsibility of contesting in elections rather than waiting to be given such positions on a platter of gold.
Accirding to Buni, “I disagree with that because most times, our sisters will come from the position of weakness. In APC, there was a time we decided to give free nomination forms to women, and we did that but there was a very superior argument that came up which noted that the women should come from the position of strength, because you can pay for the forms just the way a man can also pay.
“When we are talking about democracy, democracy is about contests. You have to contest; there are more women that I know that perform more than men. Even in the National Assembly, you can attest to that. There are capable hands; and even in my state, there have never been a time that we didn’t have a woman in the House of Representatives, and they are performing, and most times, even better than men.
“You can see as none of them ever came from the position of weakness. They contest, won elections and even have more followers than men. Women are naturally compassionate.
“Sometimes, what they go out to do for the vulnerable out there, even men don’t care to do that. So when we are talking about gender issue, we have to be more pragmatic, we have to come from the position of looking for ways to encourage women to participate in politics.
“But when it comes to appointment, I can agree with you. Appointment is something that either the president, governor or a local government chairman can do, but it’s not about election.”
Earlier, Onyejeocha had advocated for the encouragement and inclusion of women in the party’s activities and elective positions.
She said: “We are going to embark on the constitutional review, and I want you to use your office to ensure that you carry everyone along because there is no way we can continue living like this.
“Women are helpmates to the men, and in politics, if we don’t have enough women coming on board, that means we are not doing what God says.
“From my experience, women don’t have the strength that the men have, so if we continue to leave the constitution the way it is, there would be discrimination. So we are appealing that you give the women more slots in political offices.”
The South-east caucus of the APC in the National Assembly under the leadership of the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, also passed a vote of confidence on the interim leadership of the party led by the Yobe State Governor, Buni.
The federal lawmakers passed the vote of confidence at a meeting with the members of the committee during which Uzor-Kalu extolled the leadership qualities of the Buni-led committee, saying his leadership would bring about the needed unity among the various members and chapters of the party.