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Bill on special seats for women fails at House of Reps

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A bill seeking to provide for special seats for women at the National Assembly and State Houses of Assemblies on Tuesday failed to pass through the House of Representatives.

This aftermath was due to an electronic voting system used by the lawmakers during plenary presided over by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

In the House of Representatives, the “Bill for An Act to alter the provision of the Constitution of the Fed Rep of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for affirmative action for women in political party administration &for related matters” failed to pass after 195 Reps voted against the Bill while 107 Reps voted in favour of the Bill.

As a result, the Bill was not passed.

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Furthermore, the Lower Chamber also deliberated on a “Bill For an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for special seats for women in the National and State Houses of Assembly; and for related matters.”

The Bill was also unsuccessful as 208 lawmakers voted against it while 81 were in favour of the Bill.

It was the same end-result at the Senate during its plenary presided over by President Ahmad Lawan which held concurrently with the Reps plenary.

In the “Bill for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Provide for Affirmative Action for Women in Political Party Administration; and for Related Matters,” 53 Senators voted against it while 34 were in favour. Three lawmakers abstained which scuttled the passage of the Bill.

Also, in the voting for a “Bill for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Provide for Special Seat for Women in the National and State Houses of Assembly; and for Related Matters,” 58 lawmakers voted against it while 38 were in favour.

Three Senators abstained which meant the passage of the Bill was unsuccessful.

There had been renewed agitation for more inclusion of women in politics and governance in Nigeria.

According to political analysts, this stance is perfectly justifiable, considering the number of women in elected political positions since the inception of the present democracy in 1999.

To ensure that more women are included in politics and governance, some legislators recently called for reserved seats for women in the two chambers of the National Assembly which culminated in today’s voting session.

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