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From TAIWO AMODU, Abuja
The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan has made a veiled reference to the merger of main opposition parties, which was consummated with formation of All Progressive Congress (APC), saying it is no threat to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Mrs Jonathan made the remark in Abuja at the presentation of the PDP Women-in-Power 2013 calendar.
She appreciated the PDP Woman Leader, Ambassador Kema Chikwe for her initiative in presenting the calendar which she said was a fund raising event to support the transformation agenda of Mr. President through promoting empowerment of the women at the grassroots.
The First Lady said: “Nigerian women, especially women of PDP, this is the biggest party, no party can beat us. Let them try; what we talk, we do it. PDP isn’t shaken. We aren’t afraid, let one hundred parties come together, they cannot defeat us.” She, however, admonished women to stand by one another to face the challenges facing the womenfolk. “Once you do that, nothing can shake us.
We are more in number than them. Let us speak with one voice.” During the event, the woman leader and a member of the PDP National Working Committee, Kema Chikwe declared that she was confident that President Jonathan would pick the party’s presidential ticket in 2015 and ultimately retain his office at the Presidential Villa irrespective of the controversy over an alleged pact between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors and President Jonathan restricting the latter to spend one term in office.
Dignitaries present at the event include Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyin Pius Anyim, the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Dr Sam Sam Jaja. Other members of the PDP NWC in attendance were Alhaji Bala Kaoje and Alhaji Fatai Adewole, the PDP National Treasurer and National Auditor, respectively.
Ambassador Chikwe noted that women in the party were confident that President Jonathan would increase their representation in the federal cabinet and the legislature to 50 percent if given the party ticket for 2015 presidential election. “We need to start moving fast to prepare women for future elections.
Until we elect 35 percent or more of women in the legislature, the impact of our progress will not be complete. We know of course that next dispensation will attract possibly PDP female governors and more deputy governors.
We are even more confident that when President Goodluck Jonathan returns in 2015, women would be talking about 50 percent, no longer 35 percent. As we give him unequivocal, undiluted, unreserved and unlimited support and as we march with him to 2015, PDP women will reach the promised land.”
The PDP woman leader further declared that under the present administration, women had been given opportunities to preside over sensitive ministries in the country. º and further claimed that the 2013 budget was specifically designed to take care of women’s interests. “
The most remarkable victory for us PDP women in particular and all Nigerian women in general is not that Mr. President has appointed women to the most challenging ministries: Ministry of Education, Petroleum, Finance, Water Resources, Environment and Defence.
Not only that he has appointed a woman as the co-ordinating minister, he has virtually dedicated the 2013 budget to women. Mr. President, the dedication of 35 percent of all construction contracts to women is really mind blowing to say the least. President Jonathan’s benevolence to women is unbelievably phenomenal.
His generosity to women cuts across parties. In fact, any Nigerian woman who doesn’t support Jonathan must have a special problem. Tell him that PDP women in every nook and cranny, wherever they are, young or old, tall or short, beautiful or ugly, are chanting to Nigerians, “all we are saying, give us Goodluck.”
On the PDP Women-in- Power 2013 calendar, the PDP woman leader told the gathering that the presentation was a fund raising event to promote empowerment of the women at the grassroots. “My aim is to support the transformation agenda of Mr. President through their empowerment at the grassroots.”