NewsWhen Women Stormed APC Headquarters

When Women Stormed APC Headquarters

June 3, (THEWILL)- The National Woman Leader of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr Mary Alile-Idele, had a taste of the whip from her immediate constituency at the weekend when aggrieved women of the party stormed the national headquarters and demanded her resignation. What was amiss? Wrapper. Bales of 24,000 wrappers.

The First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, donated 24,000 wrappers during a visit of her delegation to the national secretariat, for distribution to women leaders of the party across the country.

The protesters who carried placards with telling messages wanted her to “Resign Now,” because, “Enough is Enough,” for the “APC National Women Leader.”


They appealed to the National Chairman, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, to pave the way for the removal of Alile-Idele because she was negligent in her conduct and consistently undermining women affairs since she was appointed to replace suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu.

The wrapper bundles were the first direct set of democracy dividends the women received from the APC since they cried out loud that President Bola Tinubu had abandoned them despite their contributions to his victory at the polls.

The First Lady had responded to their call by sending a representative, Hajia Nana Shettima, wife of Vice President Kashim Shettima, to present the bales of wrappers to Alile –Idele and her state women leaders a week ago during a meeting of the National Working   Committee, NWC, of the APC in Abuja.

In an anticipatory moment, Ganduje had warned that the wrappers should be distributed at no cost, saying, “What is left for you is to be honest, transparent and nationalistic so that these wrappers will get to the target group.

“Secondly, don’t charge anything, including transport fare, on these wrappers. They were given free and you should also give them free.”

Latching on to that warning, the protesters, led by Rebecca Sheneni, the Coordinator of Concerned APC Women, alleged that only 9,000 out of the 24,000 fabrics were distributed.

But as the voices of the protesters grew louder, it became clearer that there was a heavy undercurrent to their actions, almost similar to their grievances against Edu, when the former minister was their leader and was similarly accused of relegating the women in the party to the background.

They allege that instead of working together towards a shared goal for their own advantage, the national women leader, Alile-Idele, has been extensively travelling across the nation to push her personal project, a non-governmental organisation.

According to Shaneni, “We, the Concerned APC Women Group, an umbrella body for all female members of the governing APC, deem it necessary and imperative to demand the immediate resignation of Mrs Mary Alile-Idele, the National Women Leader of our party.

“We are concerned that since assuming office, Mrs Mary Alile-Idele has displayed incompetence in her role. She appears to be more focused on promoting her Non-Governmental Organisation rather than the party. This is evident in her recent travels to various states to inaugurate her NGO’s executives, instead of promoting the agenda and manifesto of our party to Nigerian women.

“Furthermore, Her Excellency the First Lady provided her with over 24,000 wrappers to distribute to Women leaders and party members, but she only distributed less than 9,000. Where are the rest?

The same allegation about class against Edu resurfaced, “We wonder how a UK-based person with no political experience and no record of membership in our party could be considered for this exalted position.

“She prioritises her personal interests over those of the APC, leading to the nomination of her husband for appointment as a member of the University of Port Harcourt Governing Council and various party assignments.

“Considering her numerous misdeeds and misconduct, we call for her immediate removal from the position of the APC Women’s Leader. She has demonstrated a high level of incompetence and we have had enough.”

Mrs Alile-Idele could not be reached for her comments, but the leader of the Imo State Chapter, Patricia Okuebor-Benson, addressed the immediate allegations of the protesters

Okuebor- Benson dismissed the allegations of the protesters, saying they were wild and untrue. According to her, almost all the women leaders in state chapters of the party across the country has received their allotment of the donated wrappers

She said she had just heard of the allegations because nobody told her before.

“As I speak, the 36 state women leaders and the FCT are in Abuja having a meeting and nobody has accused anybody of anything. We don’t know where these women are getting their stories from. I believe every state has received their fabrics.”

She said she was suspicious that the wrapper was a cover for protesting for something else.

“I really don’t know what they are talking about. I think somebody is sponsoring them.” When the women protested against Edu, they went as far as seeking an audience with the President at Aso Villa. Edu survived when she was made minister.

Amos Esele, THEWILL
Amos Esele is the Acting Editor of THEWILL Newspaper. He has over two decades of experience on the job.

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