The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected what it called attempts by the House of Representatives’ leadership to impose the Infectious Disease Control law on Nigerians without recourse to the laid down procedure of public hearing to allow Nigerians participate in the process of making the law.
The party described the move to shut out Nigerians from public debate on such crucial legislation as ominous, and that it raises suspicions on the objectives, as the nation combats the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement by PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “It was imperative to allow for popular participation, especially as the bill seeks to prescribe clauses on critical issues, particularly that of vaccination, which has become globally controversial in the face of raging conspiracy theories on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Such approach is already worsening public mistrust, as well as heightening apprehension over the intentions of presiding officers of the House of Representatives and the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration at this critical time.”
The party insisted that Nigerians “be carried along in the decision-making process of such critical legislation, which seeks to make provisions that will directly affect their health, as well as overall individual and collective safety and wellbeing.
Anything short of that would be counter-productive and capable of breeding an avoidable public resistance, especially given the deepening fear and anxiety in the polity over the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The PDP, therefore, counseled the Speaker of the House of Representatives to immediately call himself to order and allow for a public hearing on the bill.
Similarly, the PDP Youth Alliance National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Emeka Kalu, has slammed members of House of Representatives for what he termed “desperate abandon to pass a bill that looks like ‘Decree 4,’ which when passed, will oust the Judiciary and give absolute power to whoever will head the Health Ministry or become the Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).”
In a release made available to The Guardian, yesterday, Kalu wondered why the National Assembly was being overzealous in its wish to pass stringent Bills on a disease that was not yet as prevalent in the country as in the Western world, where they are even protesting against it.
He said while the American President, Donald Trump had disassociated himself from World Health Organisation (WHO) and its methods, and other nations are patiently waiting for a cure, the proponents of Bill Gates’ vaccine have jumped at the fear already created to take away the rights of Nigerians, who will either take the vaccine or be arrested, since the decision of the Health Minister or Director-General NCDC will become the law, and every medical issue will by then become a premeditated crime.
Kalu said if this evil machination were allowed to see the light of the day, Nigerians’ rights, as enshrined in the Constitution, would be completely taken away.
He, therefore, called on members of the House to retrace their steps and save the country from the conspiracy that will take the nation back to the era of “Decrees and Executive Orders.”