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THE BILL TO MAKE COVID-19 VACCINE COMPULSORY HURRIEDLY PUSHED THROUGH 1ST AND 2ND READING AT THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF NIGERIA


A controversial bill to give so much power to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to force Coronavirus Covid-19 yet to be discovered vaccine on Nigerians and identification certificate for those who have been vaccinated is about to be hurriedly passed by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


The 55-page documents Bill that was rushed through 1st and 2nd readings simultaneously and is set for passage on the 3rd reading, if passed into law will empower NCDC to force every citizen of Nigeria to be vaccinated and be issued vaccine certificate for identification of those that have been vaccinated, failure to accept to be vaccinated and be certified (by any means deem fit by the NCDC) such individual will not be allowed to purchase air tickets, board flights or move about in public places, despite that no effective vaccine has been discovered and successfully tried till now.

The speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila urged members to pass the bill for second and third reading and seek concurrence from the Senate before it was sent to the president for assent.

He called on members to pass the Bill with the speed of light.

However, some lawmakers were not comfortable with the speed at which the Speaker of the House wanted the bill to be passed.

Chris Azugbogu (PDP- Anambra), said that the Quarantine Act does not only involved human but animals.

He noted as well, that there was need to carry all relevant institutions along to ensure maximum productivity.

Rep. Sergius Ogun (PDP-Edo) said that there was need to be very careful with the powers that would be conferred on NCDC to administer vaccines.

According to him, rather than pass the bill and send it to the Senate for concurrence, it should be sent to the relevant committee for more work to be done on it.

Also, Rep. Bamidele Salam (PDP-Osun) said that pandemic times such as this, offered an opportunity for all to critically look into procedures and processes of doing things.

Salam said that the bill which was supposed  to have been circulated among members ahead of debate in line with the procedures of the house, had not been given to him.

“I have not seen the bill and I have asked some colleagues around here and they do not have either.

“I do not know if the bill compels states to establish centers for emergencies, I do not know if the bill makes it compulsory for palliatives measures under such circumstance.

“ I suggest this bill is stepped down and distributed to all members to give us the opportunity to look at it very well,’’ he said.

Rep. Nkem Abonta (PDP-Abia) said that he had only seen the title of the bill but had not seen the bill itself.

Abonta expressed fear that the vaccination may be made compulsory giving the conspiracy theories all over social media on vaccination.

He said if the house was to do away with Public Hearing on the bill which is an integral part of lawmaking, there was need for time for members to critically look at it, before it is passed.

“We need to see all the details and make sure we do not create another problem when the bill is passed into law,’’ Abonta said.

The contributions of Abonta and Ogun, attracted a round of applause from some members of the house even though applause was not encouraged in the chambers.

Responding, Gbajabiamila appologised to members over his failure to circulate the bill properly, blaming it on the emergency situation in the country.

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