The Nigerian Senate, today, voted against the Gender and Equal Opportunity (GEO) Bill. The bill could not pass the second reading after the Senate President, Bukola Saraki put the bill to vote with the “Nays” having it.
The GEO Bill seeks adoption of special temporary measures to eliminate discrimination and ensure equal opportunities for majority of Nigerians, while it also seeks appropriate measures against gender discrimination in political and public life and prohibitions of violence to women.
A host of Senators debated the bill on the floor today, giving differing opinions and views why the bill should or should not be passed, Here are some of their views;
Senator Bala Na’Allah spoke in support of the Bill. He said discrimination is a worldwide issue and the need for adequate measures about the need to protect the widowhood and inheritance rights of women.
>Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu spoke in support of the bill saying 70% of Nigerian Lawyers are women and there’s also a large percentage of female judges.
Senator Fatimat Rasaki said the Bill on gender and equal opportunity is long overdue.
Senate Leader Ndume spoke in support of the Bill. He says issues regarding widowhood, inheritance & divorce rights have to be sorted. He also said the challenge is the combination of our tradition and new religious beliefs affecting us.
Senator Garba Binta rose and spoke in support of the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill. She totally supports the objectives.
Senator Rufai Ahmed rose and spoke against he Bill. He says the Nigerian Constitution is clear regarding the rights of individuals.
Senator Adamu Aliero also rose and spoke against the Bill. He pointed out that the Constitution gives each man or woman his rights.
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha spoke on the deep biblical and historical perspective and voted against the Bill.
There have been controversies about the GEO bill and the recent decision by the federal lawmakers have just sparked up a social media outcry as many believe it will limit the female gender.
In a statement made by someone on social media:
How can one explain to people that our lawmakers shut down Gender and Equality Bill using ‘Aye’ and ‘Nay’ only? In 21st Century? Disgraceful.
Furthermore, this could easily affect the fundamental human right in the country and might dent the chances to prevent violence against women leading to more “Ese Oruru’s”.