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Petition to
National Assembly, House of Assembly, (Speaker, House of Reps : Hon Femi Gbaja-biamila)

Why this petition matters

Started by Mandy Asagba

Women have suffered discrimination, relegation oppression and  victimization for decades. To imagine that at the peak of SDGs Agenda 2030 Nigeria Law makers are still bent on repressing women is very worrisome and calls for greater campaign and synergy to take what rightly belongs to us- our right to gender equality.  WE DEMAND IMMEDIATE RECALL,  RECONSIDERATION AND PASSAGE OF ALL 5 GENDER BILLS


Composition:  the present Nigeria Senate; 109 SENATORS: Men 102, Women 7

The House of Representatives; 360 Members of House of Rep; Men 347. Women 13

The State House of Assembly; out of 999 members, only 45 are women

There are 15 states with no single woman in the house, namely; Abia, Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Edo, Jigawa, Kwara, Kogi, Yobe, Sokoto, Taraba, Katsina, Zamfara, Kano, Nasara

Amanda Asagba initiates this petition to the National Assembly of Nigeria today the 5th day of March 2022

We were shocked to see the 5 GENDER BILLS we worked so hard to present, argue and defend at both Houses of the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly Public Hearings , the  lobbying, strategizing, advocacies, expenses and then, the politicians endless promises from its conceptualization to the time of voting to give it life, the high optimism about its passage. We were cocksure in the light of promises and assurances received  to give their support. But  NO, the shock came, it was voted out on Tuesday March 1, 2022, we watched with utter dismay at how these men trivialized the destiny of women and made a mockery of the Constitution they swore to defend and in defiance of every sense of duty and responsibility to Women and the political strengths and power we weild.

This calls for serious reflections and brainstorming on the way forward for Women of Nigeria who have been relegated for decades and recently dashed our hopes of getting parity in line with achieving Goal 5 of  the SDGs Agenda 2030.The National Assembly  commenced its voting on proposed bills seeking to amend the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Only 5 out of  67 and 68 constitutional amendment Bills in the Senate and the House of Representatives respectively were proposing amendments on affirmative actions for women and women’s rights as citizens of Nigeria, yet they were all voted out. What an affront on Women? We are  hurting badly over the rejection of these  bills that sought to increase women inclusiveness and participation. 

Members of the National Assembly must be reminded that;

1. equality is a Fundamental Human Right which must be respected and protected 
2. that equality is a right not a privilege
3. that any provision of the constitution contrary and or inconsistent to this fundamental human right shall to the extent of that inconsistency be declared null and void and of no effect whatsoever
4. that failure to vote in favour of these Bills was acting against the Constitution the Law Makers swore to uphold and protect.
5. that failure to acknowledge the rights if its citizens is failure of governance and lack of utmost good faith in service to the Nation.
6. it is injustice and serious affront to 49.9% of its citizenry.

I want you to sign this petition to the lawmakers and read more here:

These Gender Bills failed to be passed in the National Assembly include: 

1. The Bill to Confer automatic citizenship on the foreign spouses of Nigerian women.: it seeks to amend the constitution  (Section 26 of the 1999 Constitution) to enable foreign spouses of Nigerian women to acquire citizenship by registration. This right already exists in the constitution for men as it enables only foreign spouses of Nigerian men to acquire citizenship. This Bill was not passed in the National Assembly because it failed to receive the required two-thirds majority in the House of Representative.

2. The Bill to make Women eligible to contest elections in their husbands' State after about five years of being married, thus expanding Indigeneship rights: this bill seeks to amend the constitution ( sections 31 and 318 of the constitution) to expand indigeneship to Nigerians living in states other than their state of origin after a period of time and to women who marry from states other than their state of origin to benefit from certain rights relating to employment, education, appointment, and election into a political and public office. This amendment is intended to address the injustice women  married outside their states of origin face. This Bill was not passed in the National Assembly because it failed to receive the required two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives. 


3. The Bill to Create 111 Special Seats for Women: This Bill seeks to amend the constitution ( (Sections 48, 49, 71, 77, 117) to create seats for women in the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly. With this amendment, there will be 74 reserved seats in the House of Representatives, 37 in the Senate, and 3 in each State Assembly that only women can contest for. The idea is to ensure that every Assembly has women representation. The reserved seats will only be operational for 4 electoral cycles and do not preclude women from contesting for the other seats. This Bill was not passed in the National Assembly because it failed to receive the required two-thirds majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.


4. The Bill to Make Some Offices in the Political Hierarchy an Exclusive Preserve of  the Women,  to ensure Affirmative Action for women in political party administration: This Bill provides a legal mandate on the political parties to ensure that at least 35% of its members of the Executive Council are women. This Bill failed to fly in the National Assembly because it did not receive the required two-thirds majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. (Seeking to amend Section 223 of the Constitution).

5. The Bill  Seeking some percentage for women in the ministerial slots and the Commissionership at the State level, to ensure early submission of names of nominees for Ministers and Commissioners and Affirmative Action for Women: this Bill seeks to amend the constitution (sections 142 and 192 of the 1999 Constitution) to mandate the President of Nigeria and the Governors of the 36 states to appoint Minister and Commissioners respectively within 60 days of their oath of office and that such nominee must present evidence of the declaration of their assets and liabilities. In addition, it mandates that at least 10% of women will be appointed as Ministers and Commissioners. This bill was passed with some differences in the National Assembly-  the House of Representatives voted for 20% and the Senate voted for 10% affirmative action. 

Who failed Women?

The Law Makers,  Political leaders.


Why are these bills important?

1. The Bill on citizenship  is aimed at ending the discrimination against the equal rights of women as citizens of Nigeria which is contrary to the principles of freedom, equality, and justice as  enunciated in the Constitution. It is a grave injustice to reserve a right of full citizenship to only men and deny women of that same right in a  democracy  regulated by Rule of Law  with Human Rights enshrined in its Constitution, despite being signatories to international Conventions and treaties declaring gender equality. The action of the Law Makers both in the past and present is ultra vires the Constitution. Any provision in any section of the Constitution that is contrary to the Fundamental Human Rights as enshrined in the Constitution will to the extent of that inconsistency be declared null and void. The Law makers have in so doing become Law Breakers. 

2. The amendment on Indigeneship aims to deaggravate the discrimination against citizens living and paying taxes in states other than their states of origin and women   married into other states who were precluded from benefiting from opportunities in both their state of origin and their husband’s state. Denying Nigerian women indigeneity through marriage is leaving women stateless in a country where they are citizens. 

3. The specific seats for women in the National and State Assembly Bill, aims to unsettle  the status quo of decline in women representation in the Parliament in Nigeria. Today in Nigeria, 15 of the 36 states' Assemblies have no single female representative. Women's representation at the National assembly is currently 4.47% while there are only 44 women out of the 999 State legislators and only 7 women out of 102 Senators.  Women contest and fight hard during elections but the system creates ways to exclude them, making them 2nd class citizens in their own Father's Land. Failure to pass this humble bill is the height of relegation of the Nigerian Woman. I particularly feel we are settling for less and at the same time begging to be considered even for the less. What am affront to the Nigerian Woman? What an intolerable level of gender enslavement? I particularly feel women gave been murdered in cold blood. 

4. The adoption of 35% affirmative action for appointed positions will help to engender parity prevent settling for 20% or 10%  and even less which denies women of the opportunity of having at least 35% representation in public leadership particularly as a time that the World is seeking 50/50 representation

5. The adoption of  35% affirmative action for women in the executive councils of political parties widens up the space for women leadership in parties. That way the chances of women's emergence in party leadership to influence decisions becomes a reality.

Who is affected?

Every Nigerian: who has been deprived of quality living,  employment, basic infrastructures and amenities, justice etc due to paucity and or the absence of women in the decision-making process to inform policies and laws that are truly and sincerely  targeted to developing the society. 

Nigerian women and girls:  relegated, oppressed, exposed and  subjected to different forms of discrimination in the family, community, school, work, political leadership, and the economy.


Nigeria: a country richly blessed with the best of natural resources, human resources, the best climate and weather, a land flowing with milk and honey, but badly impoverished by poor leadership made up of and controlled majorly by the OLD men, Treasury Looters and Recycled leaders and family affinity with their stone age ideas and beliefs who have refused to relinquish power to Women and the New generation. Changing the quality of leadership and gender balance for better  will produce better outcomes for progress and development. 


So what is our demand?

A demand; for the Lawmakers to immediately recall and  reconsider  the Bills and urgently pass them into Law.

What we need to do...

1. I am urging  you to sign this petition, share  and call your Representatives in the Senate and the House of Representatives to reconsider the Bills and vote in favour of the proposed Bills. 

2. I call on you to call the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives,  to reconsider the gender bills.

3. I call on you to please Get ready with your Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to Vote out lawmakers during elections who do not vote in favour of the Gender Bills and in the interest of our democracy.

4. I call on every nigerian woman to particularly note the senators and representatives that voted against these bills and be sure to vote against them in any future election except they reconsider these Bills and vote in our favour.  To share their names and photos widely so every woman will know the brains behind continuedcrelegation of  Nigerian Woman.

5. A clarion call on all women, girls and youths to take their destinies in their own hands and challenge all barriers, support and empower the girl child and  fellow women. It has become crystal clear that power is not given you must strive and fight to take it by force. TOGETHER WE CAN ROLL OFF THE BARRIERS!

I acknowledge and commend  the  efforts of women groups and women leaders under the Womanifesto Platform, Feminist Group, African Women Lawyers Association, WARDC, Women Arise, 100 Women Lobby Group, Legal Pool for Justice, Cynthia Mbamalu and other civil society partners and male Champions  who are working assidiously, standing tall and fighting doggedly  against this injustice. This petition is part of the ongoing protest and campaign organised by Nigerian Women and Gender Advocates fighting for an equal, just and egalitarian society. 

#BreakGenderBias  #BreakPoliticalBias #BreakConstitutionalBias  #NigerianWomenOccupyNASS




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