By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-A total of 183 women organisations have appealed to the National Assembly to extend the dead for the submission of memoranda on the review of the 1999 constitution for between 30 – 60 days.
The extension,the women groups said,would enable them, the civil society and other stakeholders to reach out to their networks and make proper consultations to be able to contribute to the constitutional review actively and purposefully.
Among the 183 organisation which endorsed the statement were Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre founded by Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi; Women in Politics Forum; National Association of Women Journalists and Women Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
Others were Gender and Constitutional Reform Network; Women Aid Collective and Women’s Rights Advocates Policy Advisory.
The Women organisations made their position known in a letter to the Deputy President and Chairman, Committee on the review of the 1999 constitution, Ovie Omo-Agege, entitled: ‘Appeal for an extension on the deadline of the call for memoranda.’
The document obtained by journalists in Abuja on Tuesday was signed by the Founding Director of WARDC, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi; of Chair of GCRF/ED of WACOL, Prof. Joy Ezeilo and ED of WRAPA, Hajiya Saudatu.
The letter reads, “We the undersigned organizations humbly appeal for an extension of the deadline of the “call for Memoranda”. We request that it be extended to between thirty to Sixty (30 – 60) Days from the date of the publication of the memo.
“This is to enable us the women groups, civil society, and other stakeholders to reach out to our networks and make proper consultations to be able to contribute to the constitutional review actively and purposefully.
“We appreciate the efforts ofthe honourable members of the senate for the exemplary leadership you have shown as law makers. We would also like to appreciate you on the thoughtful review of the 1999 constitution and especially for the priority you placed on Gender Equality for Women and Girls amongst the other 13 under-listed matters.
“The constitution being the ground normof all laws in the countryis expected to reflect the various interests and legal expectation of every geopolitical zone of the country. Constitutional Reviews can play important role in upholding the rule of law, democracy, and the protection of Human Rights.
“Based on the above premise, we believe that an extension of the deadline will give adequate opportunity to all sectors of the society to make input to the review. Thanking you in anticipation of your favourable response.”