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No way!!! CAN kicks against proposed Infectious Disease Control Bill

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.
According to the association, in a letter dated May 4, signed by its General Secretary, Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola, the intention to allow the said bill, which sought to prohibit and control infectious diseases, to be passed by the Federal House of Representatives into law with jet speed was frowned at.
CAN further gave four reasons why the Bill should not be allowed to become a law.
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 and 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.
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.
Following these observations,
CAN advised the leadership and Honourable Members 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.
CAN said in the letter that the bill is not what is currently being expected from the House of Representatives at the moment but rather, the development of the vaccines that will stop COVID-19 pandemic from further killing of the citizens.
The association added that “The question in the hearts of many people is that why the rush for Infectious Disease Bill, when the vaccine is not available yet?”
Other reasons CAN gave for opposing the bill were that it is an “obnoxious bill that gives too much powers 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, urged 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.” It read.
The text of the letter
The Honourable Speaker,
Federal House of Representatives,
National Assembly Complex,
Three Arms Zone.
Abuja
PROPOSED BILL ON INFECTIOUS DISEASE CONTROL IN NIGERIA
It has come to the notice of this August Association, your 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 Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other  well meaning citizens of this country have critically and carefully looked into this Bill and cannot but observe the following:
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.
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.
In view of the above (i-iv), the Christian Association of Nigeria hereby 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.
The question in the hearts of many people is this: “Why the rush for Infectious Disease Bill, when the vaccine is not available yet?”
In this obnoxious Bill, 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.
Sequel to the above, 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.
Yours Sincerely,
Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola.

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Written by Mateen Badru

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