By Josephine Agbonkhese
No fewer than 283 women and youth groups have appealed to the Senate to extend deadline for the call for memoranda ahead of the proposed constitution review to between 30 and 60 days from date of publication of the memo.
The groups, in a letter addressed to the Deputy Senate President/Chairman, Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, said the extension will enable women groups, civil society, and other stakeholders to make proper consultations to be able to contribute to the review actively and purposefully.
The letter was signed by Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Founding Director, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, on behalf of Professor Joy Ezeilo, Chair, Gender and Constitutional Reform Network/Executive Director, Women Aid Collective, and Hajiya Saudatu, Executive Director, Women’s Rights Advocates Policy Advisory.
They argued that “the constitution, being the ground norm of all laws in the country, is expected to reflect the various interests and legal expectations of every geopolitical zone of the country.”
The letter read in part: “Constitution reviews can play an important role in upholding the rule of law, democracy, and the protection of human rights.
“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 among the other 13 under-listed matters.
“We believe that an extension of the deadline for call for memoranda will give adequate opportunity to all sectors of the society to make inputs to the review.”