….As Hajiya Ciroma seeks more women in politics
An aspirant to the office of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has stated that he will commence massive enlightenment and reconciliation if he emerge as the next chairman of the party.
Prince Secondus disclosed this in Abuja when he returned his nomination form at the party’s national secretariat.
Secondus who was an acting National Chairman of the party and handed over to the present Senator Ahmed Makarfi said that the chairmanship position requires strong and tested hands.
He dismissed as unfounded the allegations that some delegates are opposed to handing over the party’s leadership to those who plunged it into the loss it suffered during the 2015 general election.
He said, “It is largely rumoured to say that we cannot entrust the leadership of the party in the hands of those who led it to lose the last election. The party must learn from its mistakes.
What happened in 2015 has happened but we believe that collectively, we will rebuild this party.
“After the conventions, we shall start rebuilding the party and draw back membership.
“My mission is to rebuild the party and reposition it. We want to get members united and do mass mobilisation of members. We shall go ward by ward to rekindle hope in our people.
“This government has failed woefully and people are looking for an alternative,” Secondus said.
He stressed that he has all it takes to recreate the party and reposition it for victory.
“I have the strength, I have the charisma and I have the experience to move the party forward.”
He also added that he has consulted widely, with some delegates and with his governor, Nyesom Wike and expressed hope that he will be victorious.
On micro-zoning of national positions he said, “there was no time the office of the national chairman was micro zoned to any zone.
At the Port Hacourt convention, it was zoned to the 17 states of the South while the presidency was zoned to the 19 states of the North.
“The beauty of this democracy is that we want as many people as possible and at the end of the day the better person will emerge.”
The aspirant dismissed the allegation that he is working with the NCC towards his emergence.
“There is no truth that Makarfi is paving way for my emergence as the chairman. I have not held any meeting with him.”
He equally cleared the air on the allegation that he swindled the party of the N11 billion realised from the sale of forms when he was the acting chairman.
“No such money missed in the party secretariat. There are organs of the party that could have constituted an investigation. There is no way N11 billion can miss from the party and no one will raise alarm.
“The money was generated from sales of form and was shared according to our sharing formula.
Those who went to conduct elections were also given stipends from the money. Part of the money was also kept to complete the 11 story national headquarters.
“However, when I was away, the national chairman then, not me decided to use the money for some other purpose.
“No money is missing. It is blackmail and it will not work,” he emphasised.
Meanwhile, another aspirant for the office of Deputy National Chairman (North), Hajiya Mariam Ciroma said that women should be encouraged to be more active in politics, adding that her emergence will break the jinx.
The former PDP woman leader and former minister of women affairs said that she wants to add value to the party if elected.
“I am going to add value to the party. The party needs people of character; we shall work with the youths to move the country forward.
“We know that so many things have gone wrong and then there is need that we go back to the drawing board. The issue of imposition of candidates, we shall ensure it does not reoccur.
The participation of women in politics is very low especially elective positions. We need to work together with the men and salvage the image of the country,” she stated.
The aspirant said that her election will be novel as she will be the first female to be elected into the position.
“If am able to get the position, then it will break a jinx and a plus to the party.”
On how she can play leadership role in the North where women are relegated culturally, she said, “political leadership is not religious leadership.
It is politics not religion. It is a cultural mindset and it is changing very fast. Why should our parents send us to school if we cannot occupy leadership positions?
“Women are taking over leadership positions in other areas and politics should not be an exception.
She debunked the insinuations that her relationship with a particular candidate could affect her emergence.
“The fact that I am working for a particular candidate does not mean that I am not supporting the others. I am a party member and all of them are qualified and they are all my friends.
“We know where we went wrong in 2015. One of the things that went wrong was when we jettisoned the zoning arrangement.
“All Nigerians believe that PDP must come back to power, so we are strategising.
“My message is that I want the delegates to think critically before they vote. They should look at people who are able to deliver this party.
It is the responsibilities of delegates to vote according to their conscience and ensure that they move the party forward,” she emphasised.
Myke Uzendu, Abuja