The section up for amendment had to do with persons qualified to renounce Nigerian citizenship. The constitution in Section 29 says anyone of age can do so. Section 29(4) (b) says that ” any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age.” It means that even a child if married can be seen to be of full age and as such can renounce citizenship. The committee proposed that that provision be deleted.
When it was put to vote, 2/3 of members present voted for it which meant it was deleted. But, not so fast.
Enter Senator Ahmed Yerima of Zamfara, the controversial former governor of Zamfara who tried to stoke religious sentiments. He said it was against Islamic law. Yerima got married to a teenager a few years ago, and going by the provision, the girl who is still not 18 cannot be said to be of age.
Sen. Yerima needs to watch this video: Watch: Genius: Meet The Most Politically Aware And Lucid 12 Year Old In The World
He kicked and began to mobilise his fellow Muslims in the Senate and it was threatening to cause confusion. Despite the senate president, David Mark insisting that it could no longer be revisited as it had been voted upon, Yerima continued his objection.
Due to the sensitive nature, Mark had to call for another vote. At this point the Senators who were in favour of this clause could no longer muster 2/3 of the votes that will retain Section 29, Clause 4 (b). Senators still voted 60 votes to 35 votes for the clause to be deleted, but it did not satisfy the 2/3 requirement and so, according to the senate version, “any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age.”
Thanks to Sen. Babafemi Ojudu (Ekiti Central, ACN), we have the full list of the senators who voted NO)
The senators who voted NO, that is those who did not want the clause deleted, include the following:
1. Sen. Abdulmumin M. Hassan (Jigawa South West, PDP)
2. Sen. Abdullahi Danladi (Jigawa North West, PDP)
3. Sen. Adamu Abdullahi (Nasarawa West, PDP)
4. Sen. Ahmed Barata (Adamawa South, PDP)
5. Sen. Akinyelure Ayo (Ondo Central, Labour Party)
6. Sen. Alkali Saidu A. (Gombe North, PDP)
7. Sen. Bagudu Abubakar A. (Kebbi Central, PDP)
8. Sen. Dahiru Umaru (Sokoto South, PDP)
9. Sen. Galaudu Isa (Kebbi North, PDP)
10. Sen. Garba Gamawa (Bauchi North, PDP)
11. Sen. Danjuma Goje Mohammed (Gombe Central, PDP)
12. Sen. Gobir Ibrahim (Sokoto East, PDP)
13. Sen. Gumba Adamu Ibrahim (Bauchi South, PDP)
14. Sen. Hadi Sirika (Katsina North, CPC)
15. Sen. Ibrahim Bukar Abba (Yobe East, ANPP)
16. Sen. Jajere Alkali (Yobe South, ANPP)
17. Sen. Jibrilla Mohammed (Adamawa North, PDP)
18. Sen. Kabiru Gaya (Kano South, ANPP)
19. Sen. Lafiagi Mohammed (Kwara North, PDP)
20. Sen. Lawan Ahmad (Yobe North, ANPP)
21. Sen. Maccido Mohammed (Sokoto North, PDP)
22. Sen. Musa Ibrahim (Niger North, CPC)
23. Sen. Ndume Mohammed Ali (Borno South, PDP)
24. Sen. Sadiq A. Yaradua (Katsina Central, CPC)
25. Sen. Saleh Mohammed (Kaduna Central, CPC)
26. Sen. Tukur Bello (Adamawa Central, PDP)
27. Sen. Ugbesia Odion (Edo Central, PDP)
28. Sen. Umar Abubakar (Taraba Central, PDP)
29. Sen. Usman Abdulaziz (Jigawa North East, PDP)
30. Sen. Ya’au Sahabi (Zamfara North, PDP)
31. Sen. Zannah Ahmed (Borno Central, PDP)
32. Sen. Ahmad Rufai Sani (Zamfara West, ANPP)
33. Sen. Ahmad Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central, PDP)
34. Sen. Bello Hayatu Gwano (Kano North, PDP)
35. Sen. Ibrahim Abu (Katsina South, CPC)
Some senators did not register to vote, while some abstained.
After the second voting, Yerima tried to get up to thank the Senate Present and his colleagues in an attempt to claim victory, he was shouted down and booed.