By Umar Muhammad Puma
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has disclosed that the National Assembly is doing all within its powers to ensure that the sufferings, struggles and challenges that the Nigerian woman faces are alleviated in order to provide a better life.
To this end, he added, the executive must ensure that all available methods are deployed to rescue the 110 girls who were kidnapped from their school in Dapchi, Yobe State, and returned safely to the warm arms of the families.
Speaking when he received a delegation from the National Council For Women Societies (NCWS) in his office, Hon Dogara said the era of condemning and extending mere condolences over grievous issues such as the mass abduction of Dapchi schoolgirls is long gone, and the only acceptable action for now is results that will free them from the hold of their captors.
He also used the occasion to reiterate that terrorism must be conquered globally through collaborations among nations, since though home grown, its effect tends to affect people from of the world.
“Only in accepting responsibility will we be able to find solutions to this problem we are faced with. We must face this squarely. As a government, we are responsible for what happened to those girls.
“I urge the executive to deploy all available means to ensure the girls are brought back to the loving embrace of their parents.
Anything short of this is unacceptable. These are not the days of sending thoughts and prayers.”
The Speaker also assured that the House will continue to offer support to the wellbeing and development of women through legislative means, adding that the fact that all female parliamentarians, other than those who came after standing committees had already been constituted, are chairpersons and deputies of committees, is a proof of the House’ commitment to affirmative action.
“When you educate a woman, you educate the whole community or nation but educate a man and you educate an individual.
“We are aware of the pains and struggles surrounding the Nigerian woman, and the House of Representatives will continue to support in order to make life easier.
While calling on the executive in federal, states and local government to replicate what the House has done by giving more representation to women in governance, he assured that other pending bills relating to gender and equal opportunity and upholding of rights of women are getting required attention.
“Our responsibility as a parliament is to listen to the people to the point of quieting the voice of opposition with information that is correct. Whatever we come up with should meet the aspirations and yearnings of the people. Any law that emanates from here should be what everyone in various strata of society is committed to enforcing,” he added.
He also urged states that are yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act to endeavour to do so in order to protect the Nigerian Child and help him or her to achieve his or her full potential.
Earlier, leader of the delegation of the NCWS, Dr (Mrs) Gloria Laraba Shoda, expressed confidence of the society in the leadership abilities of the speaker, who she also described as gifted, capable and the new face of Nigeria’s future leadership.
Dr Shoda appealed to the speaker to ensure the speedy passage of the gender equal opportunity and women rights bills before the House, which extending an invitation to him to a national unity summit being organised by the NCWS to speak on “the federalism Nigeria needs.”