Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Chairman of the Senate committee on Constitution Review, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has given an assurance that the planned constitution review will largely protect the interest of women.
Omo-Agege, who is the deputy president of the Senate, also stated yesterday that alteration of some provisions of the 1999 constitution will commence soon in the Senate.
He said his committee is poised for the onerous task ahead of it as many constitutional bills had been forwarded to it aside memoranda being received from different interest groups in the country.
Speaking on one of the memoranda submitted by national officers of the League of Women Voters of Nigeria, Omo-Agege assured women that their interests would be protected, but not to the detriment of the constitutional provisions against discrimination of whatever form.
According to him, “Let me appreciate the League of Women Voters of Nigeria for this memorandum. It is very timely and apt because the Constitution Review Committee is already steaming for action.
“Anything about women is very important to us because the day women decide to speak with one voice, men will definitely be in trouble.
“I know that part of what would be in the proposals just submitted would be about increase in proportion of women participation in governance in line with the Beijing protocol but that would be looked into in a way that would not interfere with provisions of the constitution as regards gender discrimination.
“Although what you have submitted in the memorandum will be thoroughly perused by us, but in line with our procedures, your proposals would still be needed to be routed through bill submission and consideration by the Senate in plenary. So, from our own end, a bill would have to be sponsored on proposals for constitution amendments made by the women voters, and for it to be officially forwarded to the committee as part of other numerous bills that had been received to that effect.”
Earlier in her presentation, the National Secretary of the League of Women Voters, Pastor Reginald Omo-Agege, said all proposals made in the memorandum were geared towards making the voice of women heard in the scheme of things in the country.
The vision of the network, according to her, “is to be Nigerian leading network for women’s empowerment, leadership and achievement driven by participatory democracy where every person has the desire, right, knowledge and the confidence to participate.”