A bill proposing a shift to a regional governance structure in Nigeria is set for submission to President Bola Tinubu next week.

This development follows the House of Representatives’ denial of the draft bill that recently circulated online.

The bill, 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’, aims to introduce laws to be known as “The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria New Governance Model for Nigeria Act 2024.”

The bill’s introduction states that Nigeria has been under the governance of Decree 24 of 1999, imposed by a military government without the people’s consent. It notes the current constitution is not derived from the Nigerian people’s consensus and that there is a call for a constitution based on a federal/regional system.

The bill outlines that federal and regional governments will operate under this constitution, allowing ethnic groups within states to form or separate into provinces, divisions, and districts, managing their affairs independently.

“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.

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“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,” the preliminaries of the bill read.

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Despite inquiries, the House confirmed the bill is not under committee review, as stated by House spokesman, Akin Rotimi and chairman, Rules and Business, Francis Waive.

However, Akin Fapohunda, the author of the bill, who had earlier informed journalists of plans to engage with National Assembly members before sending the bill to parliament, said on Friday that he has decided to forward the proposed legislation to Tinubu, who might present it to parliament as an executive bill.