18 Jul 2017

We Trained You - PDP Chairman, Makarfi Tells Buhari's Minister as She Visits PDP Headquarters

The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development and member of President Muhamamdu Buhari's cabinet has paid a visit to the headquarters of the opposition party in Abuja.
Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan, Minister of Women's Affairs and Social Development
The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmed Makarfi, on Monday, received many dignitaries, including the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Jummai Alhassan, at the Wadata plaza headquarters of the opposition party.

According to a report by PUNCH, Makarfi told his guest that he was proud of her exploits and that he was not surprised because she was trained and brought up by the PDP.

“I am not very surprised that you are doing well because you were trained and brought up by the PDP,” he was quoted to have said.

Makarfi also expressed support for the enactment of a law for the gender parity in politics and participation in governance.

He told women to be ready to pay for nomination forms instead of waiting to be asked to pick them free by political parties.

“If it is in compliance with the law, everybody will comply, but if you leave it flexible, it is an escapist route. Forget about the nomination form, pay and get the ticket. Let us do the right thing,” he said.

He called for legislation backing the 35 per cent affirmative action on women participation in politics and government in the ongoing constitutional amendment process.

While speaking earlier, the minister urged parties to adopt a policy of voluntary electoral party gender quota system to ensure more participation of the womenfolk in politics and governance.

“Although the Nigerian constitution guarantees equality for everyone in all spheres, women have not enjoyed this constitutional right,” she said.

“As a result, we have been overtaken by countries like Rwanda with 66 per cent women’s representation in parliament, South Africa with 40 per cent, Seychelles over 50 per cent, Ghana, 35 per cent and a large chunk of the other African countries with over 25 per cent.

“Unfortunately, Nigeria stands at less than six per cent, making the country, though the ‘Giant of Africa,’ a midget in comparison to others in this area.”

She appealed to parties to assist women as various political parties commenced preparations for 2019 general election.

In 2011, Alhassan, who contested the senatorial election of Taraba north under the platform of the PDP, defeated Jolly Nyame, a former governor, who ran under the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

Alhassan defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and emerged the party’s governorship candidate but lost to Darius Ishaku, the incumbent governor.

President Muhammadu Buhari later made her a minister and member of his cabinet.

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