National Assembly Disowns Alleged Bill Proposing Return To Regional Govt

The National Assembly has  disowned a purported bill circulating on social media, which allegedly seeks to revert Nigeria to a regional system of government.

 This bill, purportedly 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,” has generated significant discussion and concern among citizens and political analysts.

Several newspapers reported on Friday that there were plans underway to reintroduce a regional government system in Nigeria, and that the bill was expected to be passed into law before October 1, 2024.

 The draft bill suggested a significant restructuring of Nigeria’s governance model, which harkens back to the country’s post-independence era.

Nigeria initially practised a regional system of government after gaining independence in 1960.

 However, following years of military rule, the country adopted a presidential system in 1979, which has been in place ever since. 

The prospect of returning to a regional system has thus sparked intense debate about the potential political and administrative implications

In an interview with TheCable, Yemi Adaramodu, the spokesperson for the Senate, firmly denied the existence of any such bill within the legislative body. 

He emphasized the transparency of the National Assembly’s proceedings, stating, “Such a bill is not with us. And who is sponsoring the bill?

“The National Assembly plenary is always held openly with the media in the chambers. In which order has such been reflected?”

Akin Rotimi, the spokesperson for the House of Representatives, also dismissed the claims in an interview with ThePunch newspaper.

 He confirmed that the committees responsible for rules and business, as well as constitution review, had no knowledge of the bill.

 “The committees on rules and business and constitution review have confirmed that there is no such bill before them,” Rotimi stated.

The disavowal from both houses of the National Assembly has brought some clarity to the situation, yet it has not entirely quelled public curiosity and speculation.

 Many Nigerians are now questioning the origins of the draft bill and the motives behind its circulation.

Political analysts suggest that the sudden appearance of the draft bill could be part of a larger strategy to gauge public opinion on federal restructuring.

 Others believe it may be an attempt by certain political factions to reignite discussions on Nigeria’s governance structure as the country approaches another election cycle.

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