The bill, sponsored by Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti South), seeks to guarantee women equal rights with their male counterparts and it has passed the second reading. The bill also proposes that a widow is entitled to the custody of her children unless it is contrary to the interests and welfare of the children.
The bill also seeks that a widow shall have the right to remarry any man of her choice and should have the right to a fair share in the inheritance of her late husband’s property and the right to live in her matrimonial house.
The forum, a gathering of over 200 Islamic Organisations in the South West chaired by the Chief Missioner of Ansar-ud-Deen society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Ahmad took the decision after its meeting last Tuesday held at Beleke Smith Memorial Mosque, Surulere, Lagos.
Addressing journalists shortly after the conference, Sheikh Ahmad said the bill was never seeking to do any good, but meant to destroy the society. According to him: “We express our displeasure and disapproval for a bill that is currently in the National Assembly which has passed second reading called Gender Parity Bill. The bill is offensive, unacceptable and totally rejected. We are appealing to the leadership of the National Assembly to stop further action on this bill.
The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, the Christian groups are also against this bill. It is not seeking to promote the right of children, women and the downtrodden but seeking to destroy the society. We want to put it on record that there are parts of this country where women are oppressed, where women are denied and excluded from their inheritances either from their parents or husbands or even for their children. This is not part of Islam. So any attempt to abolish the madrasa, to abolish the gender school, Boys or Girls schools and make them as one will be rejected.
We are against abortion, we are against sameness. No public fund should be used to promote abortion. We are against immorality. This is the way we want to appeal to the National Assembly, we urge the Senate President and the Speaker of House of Representatives and all men of goodwill to heed this call in order to avert the crisis that this bill is capable of generating.
The Christians and the traditionalists have rejected it, in fact all people with conscience and goodwill have also rejected it. For us, it is null and void and of no effect. It is interesting to note that even the United States rejected the domestication of similar law and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. Islam does not discriminate against women, but that women must be protected. We call on our elected representatives to desist from supporting this bill. We have not elected them to destroy the society.