No Bill on Return to Regional Government Before Us, House Clarifies

Juliet Akoje in Abuja

The House of Representatives said at the weekend that there was no bill before it seeking Nigeria’s return to regional government either as a private member bill or an executive bill.

Spokesman of the House, Hon. Akintunde Rotimi, said in a statement that the proposal circulating on social media is also not before the House Committee on Constitution Review as a memorandum.

Rotimi dismissed insinuations that the House rejected or disowned the bill, saying it neither disowned nor rejected the proposal since it was never presented before it in any form.

The statement explained: “The House wishes to reiterate its position, educating the public that there are three main routes to proposing constitutional amendments in the House of Representatives.”

The routes, he said, include a member proposing a constitutional amendment bill, by individual citizens and groups submitting memoranda to the Constitution Review Committee, which should be submitted to the House and sponsored by a member as well as an executive bill to be submitted by the executive arm of government.

The statement further stressed: “Regarding the specific memo authored by a citizen Dr. Akin Fapohunda, the House argued that his proposal has not come before the House Committee on Rules and Business for listing as a bill by any member, nor has it been submitted by way of memorandum to the House Committee on Constitution Review.

“To clarify the misinformation, the House states that contrary to inaccurate reports suggesting that the House “disowned the bill” or “rejected the bill,” the House has neither disowned nor owned the proposal.

“The position provided earlier was to inform the public that the proposal is not before the House for consideration at this material time.

“The House of Representatives encourages healthy and progressive debates on any subject and the exchange of ideas on how to improve our country.

“However, the constitution review process has clearly defined guidelines and limitations and involves a broad range of stakeholders to ensure that the collective will of the good people of Nigeria is reflected in the constitutional amendments underway.

“The legislative agenda of the 10th Assembly prioritises inclusion and engagement. We are committed to facilitating a constitution review process that ensures all voices are heard. For more information, individuals and groups can contact the House Committee on Constitution Review.

“We encourage the media to accurately report and frame public discourse in a way that promotes national cohesion. The document being circulated is not a bill, as it is not before parliament, and is, at best, a memo or proposal by a citizen,” the statement added.

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