The most dreadful thing about coronavirus is its ability to be extremely contagious. It can infect any surface from which any person could get infected if the person touches the surface and subsequently touches his mouth, nose or eyes. The House of Representatives was naive to think that coronavirus will fold its hands and go down without a fight for trying to speedily annihilate it.
First and foremost, the Bill has its ancestry from Singapore, a South-East Asian country close to China, the birth place of the coronavirus. It is an imitation of the 1977 Singaporean Infectious Diseases Control Law, which was made when Singapore was under a dictatorship. Like every other thing that is imported from Asia, the first thing the initiator of this Bill would have done was to test the temperature of the Bill to know whether it has fever before introducing it to the House. This was not done
Femi Gbajiabiamila was the initiator of the Bill. He had to step down from his exalted position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives to present this Bill in the House. He wanted to pass the Bill in a day without any diagnosis by the members of the House, even the ones with medical background. The Bill was to pass the first, second and third reading in a day. There was no need for elaborate public hearing through a committee of the House. There was no need for the Bill to be circulated among the members of the House as they should trust their Speaker with absolute wisdom to speak for all of them and blindly endorse the Speaker’s assertion that the Bill was perfect for the good of all. The heat that oozed out of the Bill on introduction to the House and the haste with which the initiator wanted to pass the Bill raised the suspicion of the members of the House and they insisted that the Bill must be diagnosed for infections before the House can pass it. On initial temprature test of the Bill, members discovered that the temperature was so high and immediately recommended that the Bill be quarantined for 14 days within which it will be subjected to thorough test.
During the 14 days quarantine, it was discovered that coronavirus has unleashed its venom on the bill and infected the bill. Unfortunately for the initiator of the Bill, it was also found that the Bill has some pre-existing conditions of diabetes, hypertension and asthma and these conditions rendered the Bill reasonably unjustifiable in a democratic society in its present state. When Nigerians cried out to the Director-General of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control over the infections in this Bill, the Director-General recommended that the bill should be confined to the isolation centre until the pandemic is over. Miffed by this development, the House of Representatives summoned the Director-General to explain his stand. He told them plainly that he will be dishonest if he will accept that he was consulted before the Bill was introduced to the House. The Bill was generously couched to give the DG the powers of a despot, a king, whose words are final. If the most benefactor of the Bill was not consulted, it is then safe to conclude that nobody was consulted. The adage then that if you want to go fast go alone but if you want to go far go with your people caught up with the Bill. It didn’t go far because it wanted to go fastest. It is now in the intensive care unit of the isolation centre waiting to die or survive.
The first malaise at the root of the vehement opposition to the Bill by House members on the day of the introduction of the Bill was the provision of purported forced vaccination on the people. Let us be clear, we have always had a vaccination regime that is optionally compulsory which has enabled us wipe out or reduce diseases like polio, measles, yellow fever etc. It’s optional because no one will send you to jail if you refuse to take them but compulsory because taking them grants you access to some essential things. You are not allowed to travel to some countries like South Africa if you don’t have evidence that you have been vaccinated for some diseases. You will be sent back to your country if you are not vaccinated or compulsorily vaccinated at the airport before going into the country.
However, there is the suspicion that the vaccine for coronavirus will be made to carry a chip which will be surreptitiously inserted in the body of the vaccinated. The chip will be used to monitor the movements and activities of the vaccinated everywhere in the world. This will infringe on all the main human rights of the citizens especially that of privacy and liberty. This is also a no no for Christians who were taught in their mythology that towards the end time, the Anti-Christ will insert a mark in everyone’s body which is called the image of the beast with which he will use to govern the whole world. They were taught that whosoever obtains this mark will go to hell and be doomed forever. Whenever Christians hear about anything that has to do with forced vaccination which is suspected to carry a chip or mark, they are willing to avoid such vaccination even at the cost of their lives. To worsen things was the allegation that Bill Gate, who is suspected to be behind this vaccine, said that the world should be depopulated and is hiding under the vaccination to kill as many people as he wants to achieve such depopulation. A lot of people do not trust that the vaccine is an instrument of cure, they think it is an instrument to infect people unto death. The House was also alleged to have been bribed by foreign interests to speedily pass the Bill to ensure the implementation of the forced vaccination fuelling further the suspicion that the Bill harboured a hidden agenda.
It appears that the epicentre of the infections in the Bill is located in Section 15. It empowers the Minister of Health to declare an area as isolation area for the purpose of preventing the spread of an infectious disease or possible outbreak of an infectious disease, for any period of time as he deems fit. And once the Minister makes that declaration, the Director-General of NCDC can by reason of that alone prohibit or prevent any person from leaving the isolation area and generally restrict the movement of persons and goods in that area. Section 15 (3)(d)(e) of the Bill empowers the DG to compel anyone to undergo any medical examination as he thinks fit and he is authorised to destroy and dispose of any structure and goods that he suspects may be a source of infection. The Bill empowers law enforcement officers to arrest and detain without warrant anyone they presume has contravened any order of the DG. The Bill, generally, can affect the rights of Nigerians as enshrined in Sections 34, 35, 36(5), 37, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44 of the Constitution. Section 76 grants the Minister the power to amend the schedules. This amounts to abrogating the power of the legislature to amend its laws and arrogating it to the Minister. The Minister has no power to amend a law it does not have the power to make. There are many other infractions of the Constitution by the Bill which are too many to be contained here.
There is no evidence yet of any ulterior motive by the initiator of the Bill. Everyone will agree that the coronavirus came with so much tension initially and the panic may have led to the haste with which the initiator acted at the beginning. On sober reflection, there was really no need for the haste in the first place. On Oct. 5, 2018, the National Assembly passed the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control Bill, which became an Act on Nov. 8, 2018, after it was assented to by the President and has the objective of, among other things, developing and coordinating capabilites, measures and activities to control outbreaks and mitigate the health impact of public health disasters. This Act took care of the essentials of dealing with a pandemic like coronavirus. Even if the Bill was passed on that day in the House, it will still need to pass through the Senate before it will qualify to go to the President for his assent after which it becomes an enforceable Act. No one can deny the democratic credentials of Femi Gbajabiamilla but no one can deny him of his tendency to scale a wall through the back door to achieve whatever he wants in an emergency rather than being patient enough to go through the front door. This Bill seems doomfated because of haste and in the likely event that the Bill does not survive from the intensive care unit because of complications arising from multiple infections, may its soul rest in peace and may its memory be a blessing.