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Nigeria’s constitutional review and Gender equality

A political group based in Abuja, Nigeria- the African Renaiassance Party (ARP) has advocated for the amendment of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to ensure  equal representation of both genders in  elective offices in the exective arm of Government at the Federal, State and Local Government levels

The group in a statement by his National Chairman, Mr. Yahaya Udu said that: “ all elective executive positions requiring a principal and deputy, should be so construed by law that where a member of a particular gender is running for such elective executive position, the deputy must be of the opposite sex”

There are presently three elective executive positions that have a joint ticket of the Principal and a Deputy, under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They are the President- at the Federal level, the Governor at the state level,and the Chairman – at the Local Government level.  If the positon of the group is adopted by the State and National Assemblies, statutorily charged with the responsibility to review Nigeria’s constitution, a woman must be on a Joint Presidency, Governorship, or Local Chairmanship ticket.

The Group also canvassed for the provision of a bicameral  legislatures based on unisexual assemblies.

” This means that at all levels of Government legislatures, there should be separate legislative houses for females and separate legislative bodies for males”

Yahaya Ndu said these recommendations are to ensure  gender harmony and also in line with African civilisations, ‘that have worked perfectly for the societies in the past”.

Nigeria’s 1999 constitution bequeathed by the Military is presently up for review, after two previous failed attempts to review it since the transition to democratic governance in May 29, 1999.