January 30, 2013
A move by the House of Representatives to amend the Federal Character Commission Act to enable Nigerian women to lay claim to their state of origin or that of their husband through marriage for the purposes of appointment and political representation has suffered major setbacks.
The bill suffered setbacks as it was stood down by the Speaker, owing to the constitutional order raised by the Minority Whip of the House, Honourable Samson Osagie. Honourable Osagie, in his constitutional order, maintained that the amendment being sought contravened Section 42 of 1999 constitution (as amended) which touched on non discrimination of any Nigerian based on sex and religion, pointing out that to go on with it would amount to constitutional breach.
The Speaker then deferred further debates on the proposed amendment and asked the House committees on Rules and Business, Justice and Judiciary to consider the implications of relevant sections of section 42 of the constitution as it affected the bill and report back to the House.
Earlier, the sponsor of the bill, Honourable Bassey Ewa, had pointed out that marriage should not be a barrier to the overall growth and development of the Nigerian woman but a catalyst, adding that the country could not but move along with the current global trend of encouraging women empowerment.