The House of Representatives yesterday passed for second reading a bill to create 111 special seats in the National Assembly to be contested for exclusively by women. The seats are be created in the state assemblies too to enhance women participation in politics. If the bill is passed and signed into law, women will be given 37 exclusive seats in the Senate and 74 in the House of Representatives. While presenting the bill, the principal sponsor of the bill and deputy chief whip of the House, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (APC, Abia).
She said the bill seeks to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 to remedy the low representation of women in legislative Houses by providing for the creation of additional separate seats to be contested and filled by only women in the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly as a temporary measure to promote women’s representation. According to her, the provisions are subjected to a review after four general election cycles of sixteen years for the purpose of either retaining, increasing or abolishing the temporary measure She said: “The bill is comprised six major clauses that seek to alter sections 48; 49; 71; 77; 91; and 117 of the 1999 constitution. “The bill seeks to amend section 48 of the constitution by providing for an additional special seat for women in every senatorial district of the country.”