The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Cross River State has charged women to actively get involved in politics if their widely claimed 35 percent affirmation action is to see the light of day, insisting that nomination forms for female aspirants are free of charge.
The State Chairman of the party, Ntufam Inok Edim, made the remarks in Calabar when the immediate past Chairman of Calabar South local government council, Rt Hon Majorie Asuquo, paid him a visit to express her intention to vie for a seat in Cross River House of Assembly.
He said, “Mrs Majorie’s intention is already victory to women. Women have been complaining that they are not carried along and not recognised, but let me also point out that it is not men who are marginalizing women but it is women who marginalize themselves. When you do not come out to contest elections, men will hijack everything and you’ll complain.
“I commend Mrs Asuquo for her courage. Women should come out and be part of electioneering process and must not be intimidated by the situations around them. Come out because you have to attain your 35 percent affirmative action; it is your right and I know you are meticulous.
“As a party, we are gender friendly, and that is why we have made your forms free. While men are buying forms with N500,000, your own is free. We are poised to provide enabling playing environment for everybody,” he stated.
Speaking earlier, Mrs Asuquo said her resolve to contest the election was because she has what it takes to represent her constituency well and that it was only men who were representing her constituency for the past twenty years and that despite the domination by men; her particular ward has never had the chance of representing the area in the House of Assembly.
“I am here to formally inform you of my intention to run for the seat of Constituency 2 of Calabar South local government area in the Cross River State House of Assembly. In my constituency, we have only three wards which are ward ten, eleven and ward twelve. Of these three, ward ten had provided representatives in the House and in fact ward twelve would round up its eight year tenure next year.
“Ward eleven, which is my ward, has never tasted that position. I hereby seek your blessings as I seek to represent my people in that capacity. I appeal that ward eleven be considered for equity and justice sake, and since men have been representing my constituency for the past twenty years, I also appeal to the party to consider a woman this time around.
“As a former Vice Chairman and Chairman of Calabar South, I have the experience and exposure and very confident to deliver. I know the roles of a legislature and understand perfectly those of Executive. My going to the House is to deepen and help in sustaining democracy. There are only three women today in the House of Assembly, let the party lend support to us to step up a little bit because I know the party is gender friendly,” she submitted.