The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has strongly condemned unclear motives by Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila in passing his Infectious Diseases Control Bill without allowing Nigerians participate in the process of law making.
In a press release signed by PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, Gbajabiamila’s Bill has been referred to as “containing sinister motives”.
“This is 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.
The PDP is alarmed that such approach is already worsening public mistrust in the polity as well as heightening apprehension over the intentions of the presiding officers of the House of Representatives and the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration at this critical time”, the release states.
The Party went on to counsel the Speaker of the House of Reps to call himself to order and allow public hearing on the Bill.
“The PDP insists that Nigerians must be carried along in the decision making process of such a critical legislation, which seeks to make provisions that will directly affect their health as well as overall individual and collective safety and wellbeing”.
As Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gbajabiamila has come under fire from various corners of the Federation as he attempts to pass the Bill into law amidst public disapproval.
Gbajabiamila has said that the Bill, which recently passed the second reading, seeks to empower the NCDC and make said Body more proactive. He insisted that the NCDC has had very little powers to carry out it’s mandate.
Many Nigerians have however expressed opinions ranging from vehement disapproval, to religious backed suspicions.
Many have pointed out that the Bill seems heavily plagiarized, citing it’s similarities with the Singapore Infectious Diseases Act of 1977.
The main focus of Nigerians’ angst against the Infectious Diseases Control Bill is the fear that Nigerians will be forced to accept compulsory vaccination.
The panic has become widespread as many associate compulsory vaccination with satanic conspiracies. Other fears expressed are the upgraded powers the Bill will grant security agencies such as the Police, who have gained bad publicity for brutality.
Echoing the sentiments of many Nigerians, PDP labels the moves by Gbajabiamila to shut Nigerians out of decision making as ominous. The Party opines that a legislation this crucial should be publicly debated.
“The party stresses that 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.”