Nigeria Consider Regional Governance Shift As Bill Is Submitted to President Tinubu

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A significant legislative proposal aiming to transition Nigeria to a regional governance structure is set to be presented to President Bola Tinubu next week. This move follows the House of Representatives’ recent rejection of a draft bill that circulated online.

The proposed legislation, 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 laws under the “Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria New Governance Model for Nigeria Act 2024.”

The bill argues that Nigeria has been governed by Decree 24 of 1999, which was imposed by a military government without public consent. It asserts that the current constitution does not reflect the consensus of the Nigerian people and calls for a new constitution based on a federal/regional system.

Key provisions of the bill include the establishment of federal and regional governments, allowing ethnic groups within states to form or separate into provinces, divisions, and districts to manage their affairs independently.

The bill’s preamble states:
– “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.'”
– “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.”

Despite speculation, House spokesman Akin Rotimi and Rules and Business Chairman Francis Waive confirmed that the bill is not currently under committee review.

Akin Fapohunda, the author of the bill, who previously planned to engage with National Assembly members before submitting the bill, announced on Friday his decision to forward the proposal to President Tinubu. It is anticipated that Tinubu might present it to parliament as an executive bill.

Bisi Adele
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