The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Ahmed Idris Wase, has called for the creation of a special constituency strictly for women as part of the ongoing constitution review process.
Speaking at a retreat for members of the House of Representatives special committee on review of the 1999 constitution in Abuja on Monday, the Deputy Speaker said this will encourage women participation in politics.
“On the issue of women participation, it is important that we address it too. We should not shy away from it, we should be gender-sensitive. In other climes, what they did was to create a special constituency for women, and I think that could also be achieved in Nigeria,” he said.
Wase further emphasised the need for amendment of Nigeria’s electoral laws to improve the conduct of elections in the country.
He said: “As of today, we require electoral reforms regarding our constitution and I believe it is the right time to do that. So, I expect us all to put in our time and give our best of what Nigerian will require to improve our electoral system and participation
“We also have the issue of judicial reform, which is very key. We are all aware of the various shortcomings and shortfall within our judicial system.
“Local government reform is another very important issue and we need to put our heads together to ensure we liberate that particular system for the benefit of all Nigerian. I believe it is important because if the local government is working as it should, a lot of challenges that are happening today — be it security or social infrastructure — will be addressed.
“We all need to come together, work together. There are issues in the constitution that can’t be jettisoned, such as the right of every Nigerian to have education. But are we really educating our people?
“They menace of out-of-school children in our streets, I think we need to look at the fundamental human rights that are captured in our constitution and what could be done to improve on them, so that it will be done the way it should be done.”
The Deputy Speaker also listed other key issues in the constitution as state creation, the role for our traditional institutions among others.
According to him, “these are very important issues we should give special attention to and I believe by the time we achieve these, we will be able to write our names in gold.”
He thanked the developing partners including the UK foreign, commonwealth and development office as well as the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) for their support.