Israel GodsPower ANAWEOKHAI, MSP
May 5th, 2020
In the heat of COVID-19, when countries of the world are doing everything possible to find solution to the global coronavirus pandemic that has infected over 3.6 million people worldwide, and has killed 250,000 people worldwide (cf. John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center), Nigerian Femi Gbajabiamila’s led House of Representative are busy pushing for a public health bill sponsored by the Speaker himself.
A bill copied from Singapore to be signed into Law for a compulsory vaccination of Nigerians.
The speedy nature of the health bill that has already passed first and second readings respectively, has seen an outcry from well meaning Nigerians.
Why the outcry?
Some are asking. So, borrowing from the words of my Prof, Fr Dr Ray Aina, MSP, a moralist of high repute, I will answer the above question.
The bill is generating a wide outcry for two major reasons;
a. the timing of the bill, and b. the dictatorial tone of the bill.
A. The timing of the Bill: This a time when the world is soaked in tears. But as the African saying goes, ‘One who weeps also sees.’ To that end, individuals and governments of countries of the world are working nights and days to find a lasting solution to the pandemic.
Nigerian health practitioners are not left out as well. The evidence of that was seen on April 29th in the press released from “Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratories,” headed by the Benedictine Monk Priest, Fr Anselm Adodo, OSB on a new herbal mixture called CVD PLUS, capable enough to battle the deadly virus. For many Nigerians, it was a tremendous news. A sign of hope for the hopeless. But for Nigerian government, if it is not made in Europe or America, then it is not genuine. I felt very much ashamed of our government when a few days later I watched the Secretary of Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustafa, who also doubles as the chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, in his daily press briefing, mumbling words to himself on possible Nigerian government cooperation with pharmaceutical council, and other health agencies on looking inward.
Sadly, a few days later, instead of seeing or hearing about the follow up on the SGF’s briefing, it is the outcry on the speedy health bill in the House of Representative.
Let us not forget the drama of alleged French scientists suggestion that possible COVID-19 vaccine be tested on Africans. An issue that generated outcry from around the globe.
On May 4th 2020, the news went viral of Americans calling for the arrest of Bill Gates anti-COVID-19 vaccine because of what many describe as vaccine meant to inject trackers into people’s bodies.
But in the midst of these controversies, Nigerian Lawmarkers are pushing for a health bill that would result to a compulsory vaccination of Nigerians. The dangerous suspicion of the proposed health bill reached its zenith when the Nigerian Director General of WHO mentioned Nigerian as one of the countries that will be participating in the COVID-19 experimental vaccine.
The Pfizers clinical trial antibiotic called Trovan drugs on some Kano children in 1996 that killed 11 of those children, and turned those who survived the drug completely incapacitated for life is still a memory that many Nigerians will not forget in a rush. And instead of Nigerian government to learn from Senegal, Madagascar, and other countries of the world, by looking inward, our leaders want to continue to remain perpetually being ‘spoonfeed’ by Western powers.
A moment ago however, the news came on Channels television of Femi Gabajabiamila’s suspension of the bill from public hearing due to outcry from Nigerians. He bowed to the pressures, but somewhere else in the Red Chambers (Senate), another bill titled, “National Health Emergency Bill (2020)” by Chukwuka Ukazi, was brought before the Senate. It is our hope that it is not the same bill with a different cover page.
Those who weep, also see. Nigerians are too smart to be outsmarted by a few who have made their way to the seat and corridors of power through questionable means. We are watching!
B. The dictatorial tone of the bill:
In the article, “A BRIEF COMMENTARY ON PART IV, SECTION 46, NOS 1 & 2 OF THE NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH BILL (2020),” Dr Ray Aina observes the following,
“…Also, people have noted the dictatorial tone and provisions in the bill as well as the sweeping powers given to the Director General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Such powers are unknown for a civil servant in the history of Nigeria’s democratic experiment. There have also been widespread comments about ‘compulsory vaccination’. We have heard and read of the suspicion that this provision is to force Nigerians to be injected with vaccines being developed in different parts of the Western world right now for COVID-19…”
Which by implication means that, should such bill be signed into Law, whoever refuses to submit him/herself for vaccination will face the full wrath of the Law. One of the most shameful aspects of the bill is that it is even a plagiarized bill from “Singapore Infectious Diseases Act (2003 ed).”
While reacting to Dr Ray Aina’s article which I cited above, I said, “When will this copy and paste by our leaders stop? This administration has been more notorious in plagiarism than past administrations put together. Plagiarism ranging from slogan of campaign, inaugural speech, public speeches, budget defenses, bills before the House of Representative and Senate, etc. I wept when a so called honorable member of the House of Representative was defending a plagiarized bill from Singapore in a national television. For him, there is nothing wrong borrowing a bill from other countries of the world, so long it is working for them. Even when both contexts are far from being the same? Are these elements actually representing us or themselves? If Nigerians don’t stand up against these incessant nuisances from some of our low thinking leaders now, it may be too late. Because the harm would have been done. God help us.”
But what will the likes of Gbajabiamila not do to please their masters? Here was a man who because of the quest for the position of Speaker, sold his integrity. It may interest us to know that Gbajabiamila is a first class lawyer from a United States University. He was a well known and respected elder in “House On The Rock Church” Lekki, Lagos. A gentleman that I respected so much. But because of the quest for position of Speaker, he went to Mecca to perform Umrah, which by implication automatically made him a Muslim.
For the likes of Gbajabiamila, what will they not do to please their masters?
But the world is watching. Well meaning Nigerians will never bow to the pressures of a dictatorial or forceful government who supposedly should be acting on the principles of democracy.
So, fellow compatriots, let us continue to work together for a better Nigeria. We have no other country to call our own.
Together we can make things right.