BREAKING: Deputy Speaker Sponsors Bill To Tackle Under-representation Of Women In Legislative Houses -
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BREAKING: Deputy Speaker Sponsors Bill To Tackle Under-representation Of Women In Legislative Houses

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A Bill was today 9th of July 2024, sponsored by Right Honourable Benjamin Okezie Kalu for an Act to alter the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to provide for reservation of seats for Women in the National and State Assemblies.

According to the sponsor of the Bill, Rt Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, “The Bill is aimed at addressing a profound imbalance in our Legislative Houses—the under-representation of Women in the Legislative Houses at the National and sub-national levels.

“This bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, specifically to provide for seat reservations for Women in both the National and State Houses of Assembly.

“It is anchored on the fundamental principle of equitable representation and aims to empower women by ensuring their voices are not only heard but that they actively contribute to shaping the legislative landscape and the overall development of our nation.

“The issue of gender equality and representation lies at the heart of our constitutional democracy. Despite the constitutional guarantee of equal rights, the representation of women in our Legislative Houses has been alarmingly low.

“In the 7th, 8th, and 9th Assemblies, women accounted for only 6.4%, 6.1%, and 2.7% of the Senate respectively; and 6.4%, 3.05%, and 4.7% of the House of Representatives respectively.

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“These statistics underscore the urgent need for proactive measures to ensure equitable representation and amplify the voices of women in our legislative houses at the national and sub-national levels.

“Mr Speaker, Honourable Colleagues, the rationale behind this amendment is grounded in the principles of fairness and inclusivity. Globally, Nigeria lags behind in women’s representation in parliament, ranking among the lowest.

“Countries that have implemented affirmative action, like Rwanda and Andorra, have seen significant strides towards gender equality in governance. This bill proposes a temporary measure of seat reservation for women to catalyse similar progress in Nigeria, ensuring that women’s perspectives and priorities are fully integrated into our national and sub-national decision-making processes.

“This bill proposes alterations to some sections of our Constitution to wit:

(a) an alteration of Sections 48 and 49 to provide for one special seat reserved exclusively for women in the Senate and House of Representatives for each State of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, effective after the term of the current National Assembly and subject to review every sixteen years;

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(b) an alteration of Section 91 to provide for three special seats reserved exclusively for women in Houses of Assembly of each State of the Federation which shall be spread across the three senatorial districts of each State; and

(c) consequential amendments to sections 71, 77, and 117 to ultimately establish special constituencies reserved exclusively for women, ensuring their direct election into and participation in legislative houses and processes at both the federal and state levels.

Rt Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu concluded that, “As we deliberate on this bill, let us recognize the historic opportunity before us to rectify decades of gender underrepresentation in our Legislative Houses.

“This alteration is not just about equity; it is about harnessing the full potential of our Nation by leveraging the diverse perspectives and talents of all Nigerians irrespective of gender.

“Let us rise above partisan divides and unite in support of this transformative alteration, which promises to empower women and strengthen the fabric of our nation.

“Together, let us reaffirm our commitment to gender equality and lay the foundation for a future where every Nigerian, regardless of gender, has an equal stake in shaping our nation’s destiny.

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On his part, the Minority leader of the House, Kingsley Chinda, supported the bill, saying the parliament needs to correct the deficiency.

“We must make a deliberate effort to solve problems where we see them,” he said.

Kelechi Nwogu from Rivers, corroborated Chinda’s argument, saying women should be given a “better opportunity” in politics.

A lawmaker from Kano State, Ghali Tijani said rather than reserve special seats for women, political parties should deploy mechanisms to improve women’s participation in politics.

While Olamijuwonlo Alao Akala from Oyo, Patrick Umoh from Akwa Ibom, and Billy Osawaru from Edo also opposed the bill, saying it was at variance with the provisions of the constitution.

The Bill was Co-Sponsored by:

Hon. Tolani Shagaya

Hon. M. D. Hassan

Hon. Oriyomi A. Onanuga

Hon. Blessing Onuh

Hon. Joshua Audu Gana

Hon. Kama Nkemkanma

Hon. Chinwe Clara Nnabuife

Hon. Amobi Godwin Ogah

Hon. Khadija Bukar Ibrahim

Hon. Jonathan Gaza Gbefwi

Hon. Jafaru Gambo Leko

Hon. Francis Waive

It could be recalled that a similar Bill was debated in the plenary in the 9th Assembly but failed to scale through in both Chambers of the bi-cameral Legislature….READ FULL ARTICLE

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Ndume: Tinubu Has Resolved To Be A One-term President, Nigerians Must Ensure His Defeat In 2027 – Lukman

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A former National Vice Chairman (North-west) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Lukman, has said the actions of President Bola Tinubu have suggested that he is not interested in serving a second term as Nigeria’s leader….READ FULL ARTICLE

The former APC chieftain added that both President Tinubu and the APC are charting the way to lose the 2027 presidential elections and Nigerians must help them to taste defeat.

Speaking in a statement on Thursday, against the background of the sack of Borno South Senator, Ali Ndume as the Chief Whip of the Senate on Wednesday, Lukman said it is a testament to the fact that the current administration does not want to be criticized.

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He added that the Tinubu government and the ruling APC are pushing Nigeria to the edges of dictatorial governance similar to what Nigerians witnessed during the days of military government under late General Sani Abacha.

Lukman, in a statement titled, “Fanatical Mindset,” lamented that free speech is under threat and personal liberties of the citizens are being encroached upon.

He also called out the Senate for allowing its operational independence to be rubbished after Ndume was removed based on a letter signed by the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, arguing that there was nowhere in the APC

Constitution where the National Chairman, National Secretary, or any official, or even the National Working Committee, is given the powers to summarily remove any principal officer of the National Assembly.

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The former chieftain said it is a shame that the APC and the Senate Caucus got involved in such acts of illegality.

He said:“The way things are, it is almost as if President Asiwaju Tinubu has resolved that he will only be a one term President. Under his watch, the living conditions of Nigerians is continuously getting worse. Instead of making effort to develop clear plans to address the situation, the government is becoming more intolerant to criticism.

“Any democracy that cannot accommodate criticism is no democracy. A democracy that subverts fair hearing is a dictatorship. A democracy that permits a ruling party to demobilise its organs and inadvertently expels its members is worse than a military government.”

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“So long as APC, its leadership and Asiwaju Tinubu’s government have taken the self-destructive path, which is equivalent to a declaration of working end their tenure in 2027, patriotic Nigerians must help them to ensure their defeat in 2027!”…READ FULL ARTICLE

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20 Trucks of Rice: It will not get to those suffering. The Tinubu government isn’t ready to listen to advice – Primate Ayodele

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Primate Elijah Ayodele, leader of the INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, has criticized the Nigerian federal government for distributing trucks of rice to state governments. He said the initiative would only result in increased corruption and hardship, as governors are indifferent to the needs of the impoverished….READ FULL ARTICLE

In a statement by his media aide, Oluwatosin Osho, Ayodele asserted that the rice would not reach those truly in need, but would instead be distributed among party members.

He also claimed President Tinubu’s administration was unwilling to heed constructive advice.

He said;‘’There is no way this will get to the needy, those who are suffering

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“The Tinubu government isn’t ready to listen to advice. They are not doing what is feasible, Nigerians are hungry and angry, everyone is affected, the president must be careful.

‘’Sending trucks of rice to governors that don’t care about the needs of the people, that don’t share in people’s pains, is tantamount to arbitrary corruption. They will give it to their party members, loyalists and even hoard it.

“Why is this government not listening? The more you bring such, the more the hardship. The truck of rice will only increase hardship and poverty, that’s not the solution.’’

‘’This is simple mathematics, like God revealed to Pharaoh about famine, God has revealed to prophets the situation of Nigeria, we have said this in 2022 about what Nigeria will experience, it is better the government listens before it kills the economy.

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‘’The government should have taken the trucks to markets across the country and sold them at a very subsidized rate to the needy. The impact will be felt more than giving it to state governors,” he added….READ FULL ARTICLE

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He Is Always Talking About My Structure, My Structure, What Are The Structures For? -Dan Nwanyanwu

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According to the report from the Sun, the chairman of the Zenith Labour Party, Dan Nwanyanwu acknowledged that Nyesom Wike possesses significant influence within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at both the state and national levels….READ FULL ARTICLE

He questioned the purpose of these political structures that Wike frequently refers to as his

own, highlighting the fact that these structures existed before Wike’s rise to power.

He suggested that while there might not be explicit evidence in the form of written or verbal statements, the influence and impact of these

structures are evident to those familiar with the inner workings of politics.

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He said, “He (Wike) has the structure of PDP and Rivers, he has the structure of PDP in Rivers, he has the structure of PDP at the national,

and he’s always talking about my structure, my structure, what are the structures for? Somebody had them before you came, you see if you’re looking for evidence that something is written or that something is said,

you won’t find it, if you’re in that game, and you know how these things work, the evidence is everywhere.”…READ FULL ARTICLE

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