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PDP will win South West states in 2015- Reps leader

What informed your decision to embark on this empowerment programme?This empowerment programme is about capacity building. If you have observed well during campaigns and elections,…

What informed your decision to embark on this empowerment programme?
This empowerment programme is about capacity building. If you have observed well during campaigns and elections, you will find out that the number of women you see is greater than men. They come out in large numbers whether it is raining or not. They need to be appreciated, so it was as a result of the support they have been giving us that I decided to appreciate them. The one you see here today is the last in the series, it was the sixth one. We have done five in other states in the South-west zone. We were earlier in Oyo, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti and Ogun states. This is the grand finale.
Is the programme as a result of the request from women in PDP?
No. Not at all. It was part of the programme I thought of doing for women in the South-west. Nobody requested for it. In fact, they were surprised when I called our women leaders to a meeting and disclosed to them my wish to be doing this programme. I am sure that by 2015 we would have more women in higher political positions so that we can do more for women in the zone.
How many women are beneficiaries of the programme?
It’s 100 women in each state. This gives a total of 600 women. Those from states like Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti and others were represented by about 20 women per state. We gave them something to take home, at least for transport to come to Lagos and return to their bases. The programme is also an opportunity for our women in the zone to come together and talk, chart a way forward from where we are now. Women are at a disadvantage when it comes to elective and appointive positions.
Do you believe our women are prepared for elections?
This programme is also a form of sensitization programme. We have been talking to them about politics and we would continue to talk to them on this issue. We have been talking about endorsement of President Jonathan by the NEC of our party. We have told them why it is necessary for women in PDP and women in Nigeria in particular to support the endorsement as well as the need to support women aspirants.   People say women are their own enemy but I don’t believe that.
PDP has endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan. How come the party took such a decision?
The decision is noble because if you look at a country like the USA, when President Obama was going for a second term, I am sure you didn’t see any particular candidate come forward to struggle with him. Once you believe the candidature or in the ability of the sitting president, it is not unusual to endorse the president, at least for primaries. You know he is going to contest with other candidates from other political parties. So, the work we still need to do as a party would have been reduced rather than having internal problems. Don’t forget, the president was endorsed by the NEC, the highest body of our party.
Lots of people have criticised the endorsement. What’s your reaction?
Leave the complainants. Why should anyone worry himself or herself about the critics. The opposition has no business in our internal affair. They shouldn’t even be complaining about this. They should do likewise and leave PDP alone.
Your party has been playing the role of opposition in Lagos State since 1999. How prepared is the party to change the situation next year?
It is a question of concentration to win Lagos next year. By right, PDP should have been the party in control of Lagos because we are the largest party, the most democratic and we have a lot of people who are from Lagos. We will spring a surprise in Lagos next year. Once we can get the right candidate, Lagos will be controlled by our party from next year. It is not only Lagos, even in my state, Oyo State, PDP will regain power. We are poised to take-over all the states in the South-west because we believe that it is only PDP that can deliver dividend of democracy to the people.

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