The First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs Aisha Buhari, on Wednesday, stormed the National Assembly midway through the Senate plenary to witness the laying of the report of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review.
The President’s wife was accompanied by the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed and a delegation of Nigerian women.
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 Red Chamber at exactly 11:58am.
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central), who chaired 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, therefore, assured the First Lady that the 9th Assembly, while voting on the amendments to the constitution as contained in the ad-hoc committee’s report, would ensure that women 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 stated.