The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted moves by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to pass the Infectious Disease Control Bill without allowing the members of the public to debate on it.
The statement was issued on Saturday by the spokesman of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan.
He described such moves to shut out Nigerians from public debate on such a crucial legislation as ominous.
The PDP said the moves raised suspicions of sinister objectives as the nation combats the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement said, “This is especially as the bill seeks to prescribe clauses on critical issues, particularly that of vaccination, which has become globally controversial in the face of raging conspiracy theories on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The PDP is alarmed that such approach is already worsening public mistrust in the polity as well as heightening apprehension over the intentions of the presiding officers of the House of Representatives and the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration at this critical time.
“The PDP insists that Nigerians must be carried along in the decision making process of such a critical legislation, which seeks to make provisions that will directly affect their health, as well as overall individual and collective safety and wellbeing”.
The party stressed that anything short of public hearing on the bill would be counter-productive and capable of breeding an avoidable public resistance, especially given the deepening fear and anxiety in the polity over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PDP urged the Speaker to immediately call himself to order and allow for public hearing on the bill.
“Our party also urges our lawmakers in both the House of Representatives and Senate to stand firm against the passage of bill until there is a public hearing to get the inputs of Nigerians into the proposed law”, the party added