Reps Clarify Position on Draft Bill for Regional System of Govt

The House of Representatives has made a clarification on the issue of “draft ‘bill’ seeking a return to a regional system of government in Nigeria.

A statement by the House Spokesman, Hon. Akin Rotimi, Jr. on Saturday, said 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: By Honourable members proposing a constitutional amendment bill; individual citizens and groups submitting memoranda to the Constitution Review Committee, (Note that memoranda submitted should eventually come by way of a bill sponsored by a member); and an executive bill from the executive arm of government.

‘Regarding the specific memo authored by Citizen Dr. Akin Fapohunda, the House maintains 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 memoranda 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 prioritizes 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 at info@hccr.gov.ng or visit the website at www.hccr.gov.ng.

“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.”

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