Pass gender sensitive bills for National development, Women group tells NASS

A coalition of women groups under the auspices of the 100 Women Lobby Group has appealed to the National Assembly to pass all gender sensitive bills into law, to enable more development in Nigeria.

National Coordinator of the group Felicia Onibon, made the call in a statement made available to the media in Abuja.

The bills include an Equal Opportunities Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2020; Gender and Equal Opportunities, Abuse and Administration Bill 2012; Affirmative Action (Equal Opportunities for Women) Bill 2012; Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill 2015; Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill 2015; Women Participation in Elections Support Bill, 2018.

“Note that this does not take into consideration, the number of proposals on affirmative action not considered by the National Assembly,” the statement said.

The statement also expressed concerns that the electoral System in Nigeria has not been fair to women, saying that this contributes to women’s underrepresentation in Nigeria’s legislature.
“Nigeria is considered the worst performer in the West African Region when looking at the representation of women in parliament and the second-worst after Eritrea in the whole of the African Continent. This is sad and does not speak well of Nigeria as a Nation with Women occupying only 21 out of 469 seats in the National Assembly.

“The situation is worse at the State level with the national percentage of State seats being 4.5% with women occupying 45 of the 990 seats in all State Houses of Assemblies,” the statement noted.

It added that, “On a general note, Nigeria women have paid their dues in all sectors and human endeavors including politics. Nigeria Women have also shown integrity and capacity in governance.”

The statement lamented that despite women’s contributions, they were still excluded in mainstream politics and governance, stating that available records show that the presence of the few women in the National Assembly led to the proposition of critical actions to promote affirmative action and equal opportunities for women.

“This low number of women in the Assembly is a factor for the lack of support or push for these bills. In a space where voting numbers matter, the numerical presence of women is key.

“Today, we are asking the Additional Seats Bill and all other gender-sensitive bills that are receiving attention at the National Assembly to get the support of all members so that Nigeria can move forward in all aspects of life.

“Our prayer is for our legislators to consider working to effect change by creating enabling environment for Nigeria Women through the passage of these bills and the inclusion of women-focused issues in the constitution”, the statement added.

(Blueprint)

We‘re living on extra time, 2023‘ll be more challenging – Sanusi

A former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Muhammadu Sanusi II, has warned that the country may sink further into more problems unless citizens were ready to take tougher decisions in the interest of the country.

Sanusi, the immediate past Emir of Kano and leader of the Khalifa of Tijaniyya sect in Nigeria, stated this Monday in Abeokuta, at the reception organised in his honour as part of activities marking the 80th birthday of Babanla Adinni of Egbaland, Chief Tayo Sowunmi.

“To be honest, we are living on extra time. In 2015, we were in a deep hole. In 2023, we will be in an even much deeper hole than in 2015.

“The challenges facing all those people who are struggling to be president, I hope they understand that the problems that they are going to face are multiples of the problems that were faced in 2015 and all of us have to be ready for difficult decisions and if they are not taken, we are all going to pay for it.

“But the solution is not for all of us to jump into politics, this country needs good politicians, it needs imams and pastors and bishops who are going to stand up and remind them (politicians) of the fear of God. It needs technocrats who are going to critique their policies, it needs traditional rulers who are going to speak as the conscience of the people, everyone has a role to play and we should try to play that role to the best of our ability.

“I think the most important thing is that we should continue to pray for our country that whoever emerges as President, Governors, Senators, members of the House, leadership at all levels that we get good leaders.

“And I think that we should also remind ourselves as Muslims and as citizens that we owe it to ourselves because we know that this country deserves better than we have been giving ourselves.

“Allah commands you that you place trust only in the hands of those who are capable of handling that trust. If you choose somebody who is incompetent to lead you, if you choose somebody who is weak to lead you, if you choose someone who is dishonest to lead you, you can only blame yourself because Allah says you should only give that trust and He also explains to us what it means to be capable of holding that trust, someone who has the competence to do the job and who can be trusted.

“Now, if we go and choose leaders who are not competent because they give us money or because of personal interest and I keep saying to my brothers in Tijaniyyaa that we should stop praying for people who come to talk to us to say come and pray for me to be Governor, come and pray for me to be President, they go and people go and read the Quran for them.

“We should look at all the candidates, we should choose the people that we think are competent and honest and then we decide who we want to pray for, not who comes to us with money or who comes to us to beg us, whether or not they come for us. And we should go and vote for them and we should pray to Allah that our sincere belief that these are the people who are in the best interest of our nation,” he stated.

While speaking on the forthcoming Presidential elections, the former CBN governor denied eyeing the presidency in 2023, saying he’s content being spiritual leader of the Tijaniyyah, even as he called on all presidential aspirants to be ready to inherit a sinking country.

He noted that he had served in various capacities both in the past and present, saying, “I will forever be grateful to Allah.

At 60, the Islamic scholar said, he had been blessed by Almighty Allah, stressing he prefers the Khalifa Tijaniyah position he occupies to being president.

Sanusi said: “When they tell me to go into politics, you are telling me to set aside one type of authority and look for another type of authority, to leave what God has given me and pursue something else.

“I am the first and only northern Nigerian to be Chief Executive Officer of First Bank since it was set up in 1823. In this same life, God has made me Governor of Central Bank. He has made me Emir of Kano. He has made me Khalifa of Tijaniyah. What am I looking for?

“If we all go into politics, who is going to make politicians to account? Who is going to stand up to tell them ‘you are going wrong’? Who is going to speak with the people and explain sometimes difficult policies that people don’t like, but which are in the long term interest of the people?

“People don’t understand the role we play as religious leaders, traditional rulers that they think we should go and be a Governor or President. To be honest I think that the role I play can be more than that of the President.

“To be Khalifa Tijaniyah, is an office that personally has proven the choice between that office and the Presidency, I will choose that office.

“I can only speak about what I want, what I see and what I think, but at the end, we all have to submit ourselves.”

(Blueprint)