*Photo: Akiyode-Afolabi *
A coalition of over 200 women groups will hold members of the House of Representatives accountable to their promises to reconsider three of the gender bills earlier voted against.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the groups, under the auspices of #NigerianWomenOccupyNass, had, in the last 10 days, held a peaceful protest at the National Assembly (NASS) to press home their demands. The Co-convener of the groups, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, during a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja, said the women recognised the recommittal of the three of the gender bills by the House of Representatives.
She said the briefing was organised to provide information and updates on the next steps by the women groups after the suspension of the daily protest at NASS on the five gender bills. Akiyode-Afolabi said the promise by the lower house gave them hope for a better future.
“We also recognise their respect and honour for Nigerian Women by sending a delegation to us yesterday, the 22nd of March, led by the principal officer, Alhassan Doguwa, Majority Leader.
“We are determined to hold them accountable to their promises to ensure that within seven legislative days, the gender bills are recommitted and positively voted for the inclusive growth and development of Nigeria.
“We have the commitment of women groups across Nigeria to support lobbying and advocacy to ensure that we reach as many NASS members as possible.
“We can categorically say that the events in the last few weeks have played an important role in spotlighting these demands and demonstrated women’s optimism, motivation and resilience in leading positive changes through their dogged insistence,” she said.
Akiyode-Afolabi recalled that the group identified and engaged allies to ensure the smooth sail of the five bills before they were killed by the National Assembly.
”The First Lady and Governors wives are firmly in support of our struggle,” she said.(NAN)