* Bill to be submitted to public hearing
By Udora Orizu
The President of the Chamber of Deputies, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, disagreed with critics of the Infectious Disease Control Bill, insisting that it is appropriate to enact a bill at this time.
Gbajabiamila made the remarks in Tuesday's plenary, against the background of the controversies that followed the bill, after it was quickly approved at second reading at the resumption of the plenary last Tuesday.
He said allegations that the bill is a sinister attempt to turn Nigerians into guinea pigs for medical research while taking away their fundamental human rights are far from the truth.
He also said that the House will submit the bill to a public hearing in which Nigerians from all walks of life will have the opportunity to contribute to the bill.
Gbajabiamila noted that the social detachment guidelines that the Chamber and the entire country currently operate would not allow for a usual format of public hearing, but other avenues would be explored to include public opinion in the well-designed bill.
He said that as representatives of Nigerians, members of the Chamber would never think of doing anything that would harm the well-being of citizens.
According to the President, “The weaknesses of the current system have already manifested itself in the government's inability to take due account of those whose refusal to adhere to the guidelines of the Nigeria Disease Control Center (NCDC) has led to a greater spread of the coronavirus in the parents. Nigeria.
“In the recent turmoil, certain fundamental truths have been lost and are worth remembering. Our current structure for the prevention and management of infectious diseases is obsolete and is no longer adequate for its purpose. The current law severely restricts the ability of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Nigeria Disease Control Center (NCDC) to take proactive actions to prevent infectious diseases from entering Nigeria and managing public health emergencies when they occur.
“Even now, the government remains vulnerable to allegations that some guidelines already in place to manage the current crisis are not supported by the law and therefore cannot support judicial scrutiny.
“Suffice it to say that none of these claims are true. Unfortunately, we are now living in a time when conspiracy theories have made so much money that genuine ventures in the public interest can quickly become poorly characterized and misinterpreted to raise the spectrum of sinister intent and sinister possibility.
"The Infectious Disease Control Bill will be presented to a public hearing in which contributions from interested parties will be sought to improve the Bill before it is reviewed and debated by the Committee of the Whole. It is from the accumulation of these myriads of opinions, suggestions and criticisms in good faith inside and outside the House that we will arrive at the final legislation that meets the present and future needs of our country and that we can all support in good conscience. ”