• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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House of reps reject viral bill for regional government system

Reps push for new law to curb illegality in maritime sector

The House of Representatives has disowned a trending draft bill that proposes a return to the regional system of government in Nigeria.

The document, titled “A Bill for an Act to substitute the annexure to Decree 24 of 1999 with a new governance model for the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” seeks to establish a new legal framework to be cited as “The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria New Governance Model for Nigeria Act 2024.”

The draft, authored by Dr. Akin Fapohunda, who is neither a senator nor a member of the House of Representatives, appears to be a private initiative. House spokesman Akin Rotimi dismissed the bill, stating, “The Committees on Rules and Business and Constitution Review have confirmed that there is no such bill before them.”

Similarly, Francis Waive, Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, confirmed to PUNCH Online, “There are two routes to making presentations for constitutional amendments: members proposing an amendment bill during plenary, and memoranda from individuals and groups to the Constitution Review Committee. On this specific memo (draft bill), I doubt if it has come before the Rules and Business Committee for listing. I speak as chairman of the committee.”

Dr Akin Fapohunda, the man behind the draft bill, spoke exclusively to our correspondent on Friday. Fapohunda, who retired as a director in the Presidency and holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Science, explained his motivation: “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.