NCDC Bill: Ignore Tambuwal, reps reply governors

The leadership of the House of Representatives has advised the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) ignore the “biased position” of Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto, regarding the bill to control infectious diseases in Nigeria.

The House insists that the governors’ demand that the bill be suspended was influenced by Tambuwal’s “personal and partisan opposition” against the current leadership of the House of Representative under Femi Gbajabiamila.

Among other provisions, the bill provides for compulsory vaccination of every child in Nigeria against some infectious diseases. While the efforts to ensure measures like universal immunization are not necessarily new to Nigeria, the current bill has nonetheless sparked public outcry over possible human rights violation.

On Wednesday 13th May 2020, Tambuwal, who is the vice chairman of the NGF and former speaker of the House of Representatives, on behalf of the NGF briefed the forum about the bill during their virtual meeting after which they asked that it be suspended to enable more consultation.

In a swift reaction by the House of Representative, Benjamin Kalu, the house spokesman, the lawmakers said while they are pen to contributions by the NGF on the bill, the House notes that the constitution does not require that states concur with such legislation for it to become law.

The House says it is outraged at the position of the NGF considering that Tambuwal is a lawyers and should understand the position of the law on the said bill.

The leadership of the House concludes that the position of the NGF is largely informed by the well-known personal and partisan opposition to the emergence of the current leadership of the house considering his obvious stance in 2015 and 2019.

The House of Representatives nonetheless, expressed hope optimism on the the continued engagement with the NGF and express hope that such relationship will deliver the best outcomes for the people of Nigeria.

The House of Representatives earlier invited the NGF to make its position on the bill known through a memorandum during the planned public hearing as “no single Governor has called the Speaker or anyone in leadership to express his views till date.”

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