The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) under the Chairman, Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni has been commended for holding forth in spite of the high tide hitting the party from some quarters.
The commendations came from members of Progressives Women Congress who had their National Progressives Women Conference 2022 in Abuja.
The women were unanimous in their acknowledgement of the support the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) has given to women in the party especially during the ward, local government and state congresses of the party in which women were encouraged and wholly supported.
According to a delegate from Oyo State, Mrs. Bunmi Odewale, Mai Mala Buni has shown exemplary leadership in running the party as a transparent and inclusive entity.
She cited the recently released timetable for concurrent legislative by-elections in Cross River, Imo, Ondo, Plateau states as example of how the party has shown that it is in tune with developments globally by being both gender sensitive and accommodating to physically challenged people.
Other women who spoke with journalists after the event expressed similar sentiments about the leadership of the Chairman and his CECPC team.
It could be recalled that the APC pegged the expression of interest and nomination forms for the House of Representatives positions at N3, 850, 000. For the State House of Assembly positions, the forms costs N850, 000 while female aspirants and physically challenged aspirants got a 50 percent waiver for the prescribed fees for each position.
The Women’s Conference themed “One Voice, Women Uniting for Progress,” was described by Mai Mala Buni as a vehicle that has great potential to unveil issues that would improve the fortunes of the APC, and to support the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, in its commitment to improve the lives of Nigerians.
In his message to delegates, Buni urged women to go for public offices saying the APC is the most friendly women party in Nigeria.
He said, “You remain the best mobilisers of support to any political party and its candidates. You have always been there in the queue on election days to determine the fate of candidates. With this, we are confident of winning the 2023 general elections with huge success.
“Let me assure you that the party shall not forget this gesture by supporting women and youths for their political aspirations and to realise their political dreams.
“We look forward to having more women contesting in the forthcoming national convention of the party on February 26, 2022, and the general elections.”
He urged women to enlighten their relatives and the larger society that elections are not do or die affair.
“As we approach the convention, and draw closer to the general elections, I wish to remind you of your Progressives roles and supporting progressive minded leaders aspiring for various offices for the betterment of our country.
“We should promote peaceful elections and service delivery against personal gains. Let me once again assure, that APC will continue to support you and support you generously,” Buni said.
In her remarks, the President’s wife, Aisha Buhari, said as the country welcomes another election year, leaders must go beyond paying lip service to putting women in vital offices within our party and the government.
She said, “Since 2015, I have had the privilege of engaging Nigerian women across the entire country. My conviction is that Nigeria’s future is entirely dependent on actualizing the potentials of our women. It is no mere coincidence that countries that have grown strong, prosperous and influential have prioritized women participation in nation building.
“I therefore wish to call upon the APC to double its efforts promoting women. This I believe should serve as one of the objectives of this Conference. As Nigeria heads towards another election year, we must go beyond paying lip service to putting women in vital offices within our party and the government.
“We must put in place, workable strategies to ensure that this actually happens. Charity must begin at home and so the APC must start by ensuring that women occupy strategic offices within the party and more strategic roles in governance.”
Aisha called upon Nigerian women to continue the struggle by showing greater interest, commitment and unity in the decision making process of this country saying “Our vantage point lies in our sheer numerical strength.