A former Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Elizabeth Ativie, has dumped the All Progressives Congress, APC, berating the party for having no regard for women inclusion, and being cash-and-carry. She also accused the party of lacking internal democracy and complained that it had been hijacked by some persons.
Ativie, who announced her resignation from the APC on Tuesday at a media briefing at the state secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, canvassed for a third force, for Nigerians to freely express themselves outside the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Her terse resignation letter addressed to the Edo State Chairman of the APC, David Imuse, a medical doctor, and retired army colonel, and routed through the party’s Irhue Ward 4 and Uhunmwonde local government area chairmen Ehor respectively, reads: “This letter is to convey to you that I have officially resigned from the APC, with immediate effect. The reason for my resignation is attributed to the current unresolved crises facing APC in Uhunmwonde and Orhionwwon LGAs, and the entire APC in Edo State”.
Speculations are rife that Ativie, former member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, could be on her way to the Labour Party, LP, though she did not give a clear indication as to her next move. She however assured that her position would be made known in the next one month.
Apologising for turning up late for the media briefing, the erstwhile Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, (NYCN) Edo State chapter, explained that “I was held up this morning at Edo State secretariat of APC on Airport Road in Benin City, when I went to submit my resignation. I thought I could just sneak in and out, but to my greatest surprise, all the officers were there; but they locked the door and said I was going nowhere. I told them that people were waiting for me. So, I had to leave. I actually dodged and left the place. I have very high regard for journalists.
“I wish to inform my teeming supporters and the general public that I have officially resigned from my former party, the APC, as a result of the crises since after the last primaries, in view of lack of internal democracy, with some persons allowed to hijack the party. It is not because I did not have the opportunity to have the ticket (to represent the Uhunmwonde/Orhionmwon constituency in the House of Representatives), but I have been a feminine activist, and I have fought assiduously to ensure women inclusion in decision-making in Edo State, and Nigeria.
“It is unacceptable that all the women in Edo State, who sought elective positions on the platform of APC in the primaries, were illogically prevented from picking the tickets. APC does not have female candidate in Edo South Senatorial District that I belong. I cannot remain in such a political party that has no regard for women inclusion. Hence, I decided to throw in the towel.”
The former speaker urged her teeming supporters to remain calm, while assuring that in few weeks, she would let the whole world know her next political action or move.
She hailed the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, on her efforts in putting in place a team to ensure women inclusion in all the elective positions in the chapters of the APC across Nigeria, with all the female aspirants invited to a meeting in Abuja. She however regretted that Edo chapter of the party did not respect the First Lady’s decision, despite her liaising with President Buhari and the National Chairman of APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
Ativie reiterated that the recommendations in favour of females included a senator, three members of House of Representatives, and minimum of six House of Assembly members in each state of the country, which were tabled before the National Executive Committee (NEC) of APC, while Senator Adamu also invited the state chairmen to Abuja and urged them to include more women.
She noted that her name was on the list of Edo women to be specially considered for tickets, but no action was taken in the state chapter, while stressing that she did not rely on the recommendation, and still worked hard to get the ticket, but there was no push from Edo chapter of APC.
According to her, “Besides the smaller parties that are looking for candidates, in the bigger parties, it turned out to be cash and carry, with the money bags taking over the political space without considering if they have the capacity, knowledge, education or passion. In APC, money was then called documents. Edo was the only state that did not benefit from the project.
“If the APC’s primaries were free and fair, most of the women aspirants would have emerged as the candidates of the party at the various levels in Edo State. I was a civil servant, after which I went to Edo House of Assembly. So, I do not have the kind of money that Yahoo boys have; but I have service to give. I have capacity and value that I want to add to the system.” Ativie also asserted that in her time at the House of Assembly, she was not a pushover or a voiceless person, while she served Uhunmwonde constituency assiduously, and performed optimally.