Women Groups laud President Buhari for assenting to Electoral Bill

President Muhammadu Buhari with the leadership of the National Assembly led by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the signing of the bill at the Council Chamber, State House, Abuja, on Friday, February 25, 2022

• Advise political parties and women to fully explore the affirmative action therein

Women Groups have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for assenting to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill which would constitute the principal law to govern the conduct of future elections, including the 2023 General Elections.

This was contained in a press release made available to The Daily Leaks and signed by Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi on behalf of Womanifesto.

The groups posited that the Electoral Act 2022 holds a lot of potential for improving the election processes particularly, with the women’s affirmative action and efforts to engender clarity and transparency.

“President Buhari has shown commitment to democracy as the assent to the Bill came at the right time with the 2023 general elections underway.

“We, however, need to remind stakeholders, particularly political parties to ensure strict adherence to women affirmative action as contained in the newly signed legal framework in choosing next set of leaders to various political offices come 2023.

“Though the new Electoral Act seems to bring us closer to having free, fair, and inclusive elections in which people’s votes will count, it behoves on us as a people to ensure that the rightful place of women are guaranteed in the polity so that women can have their say.

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“For too long, the old electoral law had marginalised and limited chances of women participation in the country’s political process,” the Groups said.

The Groups, also, called on women and concerned stakeholders to make judicious use of key achievements of constitutional amendments favouring women; such as: “Adoption of not less than thirty-fivper centnt of the members of the executive committee at all levels shall be women;

“Allotted seats for women in parliament at all levels passed which tends to create additional 111 seats in National Assembly alone plus such opportunity at the state constituent assemblies;

“Granting of indigeneity rights to a woman who is married to an indigene of a State different from her State of origin;

“Affirmation of citizenship rights to spouses of women from Nigeria under Section 26 (2) (a); and

“Inclusion of at least teper centnt affirmative action in favour of women in Ministerial appointments.”

They also urged all stakeholders to support INEC to achieve its regulatory role as political parties are encouraged to be more forthright and vigorous in spearheading the campaign for women affirmative action as contained in the Electoral Act 2022 and 1999 constitution (as amended).