A group of female politicians under the aegis of Women in Politics Forum, on Wednesday threatened to sue the Peoples Democratic Party, over a plot to sideline women in its forthcoming national convention.
The group alleged that the party was trying to scheme women out during its convention scheduled to hold on October 30-31, 2021 by foisting a consensus arrangement skewed in favour of men to distribute party positions.
This, they noted, was in spite of the 35 percent affirmative action enshrined in the party’s constitution.
President of WIPF, Ebere Ifendu, issued the threat at a press conference in Abuja.
She said it was appalling that in spite of its constitutional provisions the male dominated party leadership has proceeded to endorse men for the various positions under the guise of consensus.
She declared the group’s support for the ambition of a former Minister of Women Affairs, Inna Ciroma, who is contesting for the position of Deputy National Chairman (North).
Ifendu said as a demonstration of this commitment, members paid for and obtained the forms for the contest for the aspirant.
She also appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission to include a provision which will protect the rights of women as it proposes amendments to electoral laws.
The WIPF President said, “Sadly, parties most times do not respect their constitution and this is without any form of sanction either from the INEC, the body with the mandate to register and deregister political parties or by members of the party boycotting activities of the party.
“For us, we are going to use PDP as an example. We will seek redress in court and others would know that it is no longer uhuru for any party to work against Nigerian women”.
Ifendu further said, “The 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.
“The provisions of the PDP constitution are sacrosanct and unique in this respect. 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 section 6(5) and section 33 (2) that says the national convention is only supreme within the limits proscribed in the constitution.
“We have explored the dialogue option with the leadership of the party, but they are not listening to us. Instead, they came up with a consensus list. What do they mean by consensus list? Is that part of democracy in party politics? We paid for our forms this time around which means we are ready to play politics with men.”