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Bills on diaspora voting, parliamentary seats for women scale 2nd reading

The House of Representatives has passed for second reading a bill seeking to amend the 1999 Constitution to allow Nigerians in the diaspora to vote…

The House of Representatives has passed for second reading a bill seeking to amend the 1999 Constitution to allow Nigerians in the diaspora to vote during elections.

Sponsored by Speaker Abbas Tajudeen, the bill aims to grant Nigerians the right to vote from anywhere in the world.

Rep. Sadiq Ango Abdullahi, leading the debate, argued that Section 39 of the constitution granted citizens freedom of expression and opinion, extending this right to voting.

He said, “All citizens, irrespective of location, should express themselves in our general elections.”

The speaker noted that Nigerians abroad contributed to the economy through remittances and deserved to fulfil their civic duty by voting.

Similarly, the House passed a bill for second reading to amend the 1999 Constitution to provide seat reservations for women in the national and state assemblies.

Sponsored by Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Okezie Kalu, and 12 others, the bill aims to promote fairness and inclusivity.

Kalu argued that “the rationale is grounded in fairness and inclusivity. Nigeria lags in women’s representation in parliament, ranking among the lowest globally. Countries with affirmative action like Rwanda have made significant strides in gender equality in governance.”

 

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