Tinubu to receive bill on regional government next week

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Next week, a legislative proposal advocating for Nigeria’s transition to a regional government system is set to be delivered to President Bola Tinubu, as exclusively reported by Saturday PUNCH.

It’s worth remembering that the House of Representatives disavowed a draft of the bill that was extensively shared online just last week. The proposed legislation, titled “A Bill for an Act to Replace the Annexure to Decree 24 of 1999 with a New Governance Model for the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” aims to introduce new standing laws referred to as “The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria New Governance Model for Nigeria Act 2024.”

The bill’s preamble states, “Nigeria, its citizens, and its government have been ruled under Decree 24 of 1999, which was imposed by the then military government without the explicit approval of the people, despite the preamble ‘We, the people.’” It further argues that the current Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) did not emerge from the deliberations and consensus of the Nigerian people and is therefore not autochthonous.

The bill proposes a shift to a constitution based on a federal/regional system of government, which is now being actively demanded by the Nigerian people. Under this proposed constitution, federal and regional governments would operate, and ethnic groups within the states that make up a region would have the discretion to form or disband provinces, divisions, and districts, thereby controlling their affairs without interference at any level of governance.

In response to inquiries, the House rejected the bill, with both the House spokesperson, Akin Rotimi, and the Chairman of Rules and Business, Francis Waive, stating that the proposed legislation was not under committee consideration. However, Dr. Akin Fapohunda, the author of the private bill who had previously indicated to our correspondent his intention to liaise with National Assembly members prior to the bill’s submission to parliament, stated on Friday that he had decided to send the proposed law to President Tinubu, who might then submit it to parliament as an executive bill.

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