House of Reps speaks on bill seeking to restructure Nigeria

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The House of Representatives has denied releasing a draft ‘bill’ for discussion, seeking a return to the regional system of government.

Titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to substitute the annexure to Decree 24 of 1999 with new governance model for the Federal Republic of Nigeria’, the draft seeks among others, new extant laws to be cited as “The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria New Governance Model for Nigeria Act 2024.”

The document which has been trending on social media is said to have been drafted by one Dr Akin Fapohunda, who is neither a lawmaker in the Senate or the House of Representatives; an indication that the said draft legislation is a private bill.

The preliminaries of the bill read in part, “Whereas Nigeria, its peoples and government have been governed under Decree 24 of 1999 that was handed down by the then military government without the express consent of the people despite the preamble of ‘We, the people.’


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“Whereas the said Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) is not autochthonous as it does not evolve from the deliberations and consensus of the Nigerian People;

“Whereas the peoples of Nigeria now desire and effectively demand for a change to a constitution based on federal/regional system of government.

“Whereas the federal and regional governments are to operate within the provisions of this Constitution, it is within the discretion of the ethnic blocs within the states that constitutes a given region to aggregate or disaggregate as provinces, divisions and districts, while being in control of their affairs without let or hindrance at whatever level of governance.”

House spokesman, Akin Rotimi, in an interview with Punch on Saturday morning said, “The Committees on Rules and Business and Constitution Review have confirmed that there is no such bill before them.

Similarly, the Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Francis Waive revealed that the said bill was not before the closing.

He said, “There are two routes to making presentations for constitutional amendments. One is by Honourable members proposing an amendment bill during plenary. The second is by memoranda from individuals and groups to the Constitution Review Committee

“Please, note that memoranda submitted should eventually come by way of bills sponsored by a member of the committee.

On this specific memo (draft bill) under reference, I doubt if it has come before the Rules and Business Committee for listing. I speak as chairman of the committee.”

Meanwhile, the man behind the bill, Dr Fapohunda said that he retired from the public service as a director in the Presidency.

“The President this week returned us to the old national anthem. At independence, Nigeria embraced a regional system of government. So, I felt we could also revisit the past and return to regionalism.

‘I have done a preliminary draft for Nigerians to ponder over. Next week, I will be seeing my representative in the House of Representatives. We hope that Senators and House members can embrace this modest proposal for a change.

“If this is acceptable, we can then sit down and do a proper drafting of the bill,” he said.


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