Dogara: How to create 361 legislative seats exclusively for women

Yakubu Dogara

Yakubu Dogara

Former Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has proposed a formula that will result in creation of a minimum total of 361 legislative seats exclusively for women across Nigeria in support of affirmative action for the female gender.

Dogara made the suggestion during the Iftar organised by igeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari, for presidential aspirants of the various political parties on Saturday, according to a statement by his media aide, Turaki Hassan.

In his proposal, Dogara advocated for the creation of three State Assembly seats in each senatorial district exclusively for women in each of the 36 states of the federation.

If adopted and enshrined into the constitution, the former Speaker said this proposal alone would provide for a minimum of nine legislative seats in each of the state houses of assembly and 324 across the country.

He said: “Through Constitutional Amendment, we should create three House of Assembly seats per Senatorial district in each State to be exclusively reserved for women. These seats should rotate among the Local Government Councils in each of the Senatorial Districts in alphabetical order.

“The proposal guaranteed slots exclusively for women in each State House of Assembly. The Net implication of this proposal is that across Nigeria, women will have 324 guaranteed seats in all State Assemblies in Nigeria as against the prevailing situation whereby some State Assemblies have no single women member.

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“In addition to this, women are free to contest the other general seats with men but even if they don’t win any other seat, each State Assembly must have a minimum of nine women members.

“Also it was proposed that one additional House of Representatives seat be created for each State and the FCT which should be exclusively reserved for women.

“A total of 37 exclusive seats for women would be created to rotate amongst the three Senatorial zones in each State. This means in each subsequent National Assembly; women are guaranteed an irreducible minimum of 37 seats in the House of Representatives even if they don’t win any of the 360 general seats for which they are to compete with men.

“The proposal for Senate should be worked out after effectuating the two proposals in (a) and (b) above and assessing how impactful they are.

“These commonsense proposals guarantee a minimum total of 361 legislative seats for women across Nigeria.”

“If women fail in Nigeria, it won’t be because of them but because we men are weak. I am making the following proposals in order for us men to walk the talk on affirmative action,” Dogara said.

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