The First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari, stormed the National Assembly, Wednesday morning, to witness the presentation of the report by the Constitution Review Committee.
The Senate and House of Representatives are reviewing the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Aisha Buhari was accompanied by the Ministers of Finance and Women Affairs, Zainab Ahmed and Pauline Tallen respectively.
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At the Senate, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, welcomed the First Lady and her entourage to the Red Chamber at 11.58 am.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, immediately after referring a bill for an Act to Amend the Federal High Court Act Cap F134 to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, suspended Rule 12(1) – Privileges of the Floor – and invoked Rule 1(b) to admit the First Lady and her delegation into the chamber at exactly 11:58am.
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central), Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Alteration to the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, laid the report at 12:06pm.
Lawan, in a short remark after the report was laid, said the visit by the First Lady was to show support for a bill to have more female parliamentarians at the federal and state legislatures.
He said, “The First Lady’s visit is to show support for a bill for more female parliamentarians in both chambers in the Senate and the House and the State Legislatures.
“This, we believe, will help in nation building as such significant participation by our women will add value to not only legislation but the much desired and needed national development.
“For us as a nation, our motto is Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.
“We believe that all hands must be on deck to ensure the participation of each and every segment of our society.”
The Senate President assured the First Lady that the Ninth Assembly while voting on the amendments to the constitution as contained in the ad-hoc committee’s report, would ensure that women’s participation in governance is commensurate with their population.
“At the moment, you’ll all agree with me that our women have not been able to get that level of participation commensurate with their population as reflected in our demography.
“Therefore, what we are trying to do (Amendment of the Constitution) will go through voting later to complete the process in the National Assembly”, Lawan said.
Aisha Buhari was also at the House of Representatives to observe the presentation of the report of the Special Ad-hoc Committee on the review of the constitution.
The First Lady and her entourage were ushered into the chamber by the Chief Whip, Mohammed Tahir Monguno, and the Deputy Chief Whip, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha.
Leader of the House, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, had earlier moved the motion to usher in the First Lady to observe the day’s proceeding.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, while welcoming the First Lady, said she was in the House to witness the presentation of the report on the constitution review and to show her support, especially on the aspects that had to do with women’s interests.
Gbajabiamila thanked the First Lady for all she has been doing in furthering the cause and wellbeing of Nigerian women.
The Adhoc Committee is led by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Idris Wase.