The House of Representatives’ Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila has vowed to expose colleagues who voted against women’s bills during the Clause by Clause consideration of the Constitutional Review.
The Speaker also reminded his colleagues that women play a major role in Nigeria’s democratic process and should be given better opportunities.
The Speaker made this known when the bill seeking additional seats for women in both the National and State Houses of Assembly failed to get 2/3 majority.
During the determination of the clause, 208 members voted against out of 302, with just 81 voting in favour of the bill, while 13 members abstained.
Similarly, 35% Affirmative Action in Political Parties Administration for Women failed in House of Representatives during consideration of the bill as PDP lawmakers Bamidele Salam from Osun PDP and Dachung Bagos PDP (Plateau) suggested 15% respectively.
Earlier, Salam had moved a motion requesting for 35% to be reduced to 15% affirmative action and it was seconded by Bagos.
Meanwhile, after voting on the affirmative action bill, Gbajabiamila called for repetition of the process appealing to his colleagues to support the bill hence women were the ones that come out enmass to vote during elections.
“Following existing statistics it is women that come out enmass to vote. “It is the same women who come out enmass to vote for us . You are now here voting against their interest? I am going to publish those who voted against this particular bill”, Gbajabiamila stated.
Also coming to clause 68 which called for 20% slots for women in the appointment of federal ministers and state commissioners, the male dominated green chamber once against displayed its aversion for women’s political empowerment by voting against it.
At this point, the speaker emphasised the need to be circumspect in determining the outcome, saying that denying women the opportunity to serve in governance only speaks to how Nigeria as a country views her female population.
Deputy minority leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu at this point moved a point of order saying that “any society which downplays the significance of a group which makes up to 50 percent of its population is not such that would attain its full potentials”.
Okechukwu appealed to his colleagues to vote favorably with a view to passing the amendment.
However, during the vote, members rejected the clause as only 274 voted in favour, with over 60 voted against while others abstained.
The Speaker again called for a retake of the vote stressing that the clause required 4/5 (288) to pass.
When the second round of voting was called, the clause again fell short if the 288 mark by 4 votes as it garnered 284 votes.
The Speaker who is obviously disappointed by the resolve of his colleagues to frustrate the amendment, Gbajabiamila ignored the electronic votes and put the question on the amendment which he ruled as passed via voice votes.