The People’s Democratic Initiative (PDI) has urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to support women aspiring for governorship elections for the next general elections.
PDI, a political pressure group within the PDP, made the call in a statement issued in Yenagoa on Sunday by its National Coordinator, Chief Samingo Etukapka.
Etukakpan in the statement noted that the ruling party had proved that given the right support, the women folk can hold the polity together and play vital roles in nation building.
He said that the party had reposed a lot of confidence in women and that several women in the present PDP-led government had justified the confidence.
“The ruling party has led other political parties since the present political dispensation took off in 1999 to showcase that women are indeed an asset in the political turf.
“The achievements recorded by women are so evident and the Nigerian economy has grown in leaps and bounds under the watchful eyes of a woman to the extent that the economy of Nigeria recently emerged as number one in Africa.
“We want the party to further exploit that success by further encouraging more women to run as governors in the coming general elections and we have tested and trusted women who can perform in the governorship race,” he said.
He said that if the more than 30 per cent female representation at the federal executive council was extended to the governorship race by PDP in the next elections the party will sweep the polls.
On the 2015 governorship race in Akwa Ibom, Etukakpan said that the group was mobilising public support for Sen. Helen Esuene to fly the PDP flag.
“PDI is passionate about promoting the participation of women in governance and we have painstakingly selected Senator Helen Esuene for Akwa Ibom, we are currently shopping for other credible female candidates to run in other states.
“We want PDP to blaze the trail by fielding credible governorship candidates by waiving nomination fees for female candidates and zoning at least five governorship seats to women for a start,” he said.
Etukapkan also urged Gov. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom to lend support to Esuene, the only female candidate in the race which the PDP had zoned to Eket Senatorial District.
He said that Esuene had consulted her constituency in Southern Akwa Ibom who were satisfied with her representation at the National Assembly and expect her to re-enact her performance at the senate, if elected governor of the state.
Etukapkan solicited the support of Uyo and Ikot Ekpene senatorial zones for the governorship aspiration of Esuene to reciprocate the support they had enjoyed from Eket zone since 1999.