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Senate may not reconsider gender bills – Abaribe

Senate minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe has hinted on the senate not reconsidering the gender bills which were rejected by lawmakers.

Recall that the national assembly voted against a bill seeking to provide special seats for women in the national and state houses of assembly, a bill “to give women a quota in the federal and state executive councils or ministerial and commissionership seats”, and also rejected a bill seeking to confer citizenship to non-Nigerian men who marry Nigerian women.

The Abia-born lawmaker who was interviewed on 90MinutesAfrica, said there is no provision for the bills in the senate schedule for the remainder of its tenure and that “the senate is not reconsidering revisiting the bill”.

Noting that the political and electioneering activities ahead of the 2023 elections would make that process difficult to achieve because “senators may not pay attention to the bills as they would be engrossed in ensuring their survival in the political field”, Abaribe said the bills might be considered if they are re-introduced as fresh bills.

Revealing that the gender bills were “debated, voted and agreed” upon in the committee sessions, the lawmaker further disclosed that there might be a glimmer of hope if both chambers of the national assembly agree to fast track the process.

Expressing surprise that the bills were overwhelmingly rejected by senators during voting, he also pointed out that the action of the senators shows that the “influence of gender and cultural patterns is still very strong and preeminent in their thinking”.

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