A bill for gender equality in Nigeria suffered a setback at the Senate on Wednesday as some northern Nigerian senators opposed the proposed law, citing its content as contradictory to Islam and northern cultural values.
Following the stiff opposition from her colleagues, Biodun Olujimi, senator representing Ekiti south, was forced to stand down the bill which seeks to promote women empowerment and gender equality.
Opposing the bill, Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf, senator representing Taraba central, said the equality of the male and the female gender “infringes on the Quran”.
“This equality infringes on the Quran. I will not support the passage of the bill until the word equal is removed. When you bring equality into it infringes on the Quran,” Yusuf said.
Also speaking, Aliyu Wamakko, senator representing Sokoto north, said equality is wrong when it comes to Islamic and socio-cultural practices.
“When it comes to socio-cultural practices, it is wrong,” Wamakko said.
“When you talk of equity it is Ok. When you talk of equality it is no. I will not support it.”
Ovie Omo-Agege, deputy senate president, said the bill should be allowed to go for second reading, and the concerns of Yusuf and Wamakko be addressed at a public hearing.
“From the feelers that I’m getting in the chamber, it appears the consultation has not gone far enough,” Omo-Agege said.
“I want to plead that this bill should not be killed here but should be allowed to go for public hearing so if there is anything that Senator Olujimi missed, it will be addressed.”
But Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the concerns of the senators speaking against the bill must be addressed if the proposed legislation must pass.
Olujimi then withdrew the bill.
Faetured Image Credit: Senator representing Taraba central, Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf | Twitter
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