The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has kicked against the proposed Bill on Infectious Disease Control in Nigeria sponsored by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila
The Association, in a letter of 4 May, 2020, signed by its General Secretary, Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola, queries “the intention to allow the above named Bill, which seeks to prohibit and control Infectious Diseases, to be passed by the Federal House of Representatives into law with jet speed:
The Umbrella of the Christians in the country, then gives four reasons why the Bill should not be allowed to become a law. The reasons are;
I. That, it was initiated to destroy the Civil and Human Rights of Nigerians.
II. It prevents Nigerians from having a say in their own affairs through the hasty and speedy way by which the House is trying to make it a Law.
III. Among this denial of the fundamental human rights are: right to life, personal liberty m freedom from degrading and inhuman treatment, privacy, right to acquire and own property, freedom of movement, and freedom of religion, just to mention a few.
IV. These rights are held sacred and invaluable except on clearly defined occasions as provided for by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
V. Remember that the Courts in Nigeria, on numerous occasions, have struck out Acts of Parliaments and Legislations including Executive Orders of Governments, which do violence to any of the Fundamental Human Rights provided for in the Constitution.
Because of those observations, CAN “advises the leadership and Honourable Members of the House of the House to immediately allow the Spirit of God to prevail over the primordial intentions and ambition, not to pass this controversial, nebulous and obnoxious Bill into Law in the overall interest of Nigerians. This Bill is not what is currently being expected from the House of Representatives, but rather, the development of the vaccines that will stop this COVID-19 pandemic from further killing of our Citizens. “
According to the Association, “The question in the hearts of many people is this: “Why the rush for Infectious Disease Bill, when the vaccine is not available yet?”
Other reason given for its opposition to what it describes as “this obnoxious Bill” is that because the Bill gives “too much powers have been ceded to the Minister of Health and the Director General (DG) of the National Council of Disease Control (NCDC), almost to the exclusion of the Judiciary in mediation, where the Orders of the Minister of Health and the DG of NCDC appear to violate the Fundamental Human Rights, as enshrined in the Constitution.”
In conclusion, Christian Association of Nigeria declares, “we urge the House to discontinue discussion on this Bill forthwith in the overall interest of the Nigerian Citizens. However, should you insist that there is merit in this unacceptable Bill, we insist that this Bill should pass through Public Hearing.”