Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has said that the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill is not aimed at turning Nigerians into guinea pigs.
In a statement issued, Gbajabiamila blamed conspiracy theorists for the controversies which have been generated by the bill since it got to the floor of the house.
The Speaker, however, assured Nigerians that the bill has no intentions of “taking away their fundamental human rights”.
The statement reads in part: “When the House last sat in session on Tuesday the 28th of April 2023, we considered the proposed Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, amongst other things. Since then, there has been a barrage of criticisms and accusations, including allegations that the proposed Bill is a product of inducement by foreign interests
“The Bill, which is still a proposal subject to consideration, amendment & improvement has been assailed as a sinister attempt to turn Nigerians into guinea pigs for medical research while taking away their fundamental human rights.
“Suffice it to say that none of these allegations are true. Unfortunately, we now live in a time when conspiracy theories have gained such currency that genuine endeavours in the public interest can quickly become mischaracterised and misconstrued to raise the spectre of sinister intent and ominous possibility.
“This House of Representatives will never, take any action that purposes to bring harm to any Nigerian here at home or abroad.
“As we have thus far shown by our conduct, the resolutions and actions we take in this 9th House of Representatives will always be in the best interests of the Nigerian people who elected us, and no one else.
“In the recent uproar, certain fundamental truths have been lost and are worth remembering. Our current framework for the prevention and management of infectious diseases is obsolete and no longer fit for purpose.
“The current law severely constrains the ability of the Federal Government of Nigeria & the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to take proactive action to prevent the entry into Nigeria of Infectious diseases and the management of public health emergencies when they occur.
“Even now, the government remains vulnerable to claims that some directives already being implemented to manage the present crisis do not have the backing of the law and therefore cannot withstand judicial scrutiny”.
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