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House of Reps denies receiving $10 million for Infectious Disease Bill

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Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Tuesday denied receiving $10 million from an external body to introduce and pass the Infectious Disease Bill.

House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila in a statement said the allegations as reported in some local media outlets were untrue.

The bill, Gbajabiamila said, “is still a proposal, subject to consideration, amendment and improvement has been assailed as a sinister attempt to turn Nigerians into guinea pigs for medical research while taking away their fundamental human right.”

Nigerians on Monday opposed the passage of the Infectious Disease Bill by the House of Reps owing to allegations that it was being sponsored by an external body.

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One of the provisions in the bill mandates parents to vaccinate their children at birth when western nations and China where the disease originated from have not done so.

However, Gbajabiamila, who is sponsoring the bill said, “Suffice it to say none of these allegations are true.”

Gbajabiamila said the allegations against the passage of the bill were formed by conspiracy theories which he believes does not state the true motive of the proposed law.

“Unfortunately, we now live in a clime where conspiracy theories have gained currency that genuine endeavours in public interest can quickly become mischaracterized and misconstrued to raise the spectre of sinister intent and ominous possibility,” Gbajabiamila said.

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“The House of Representatives will always be in the interest of the Nigerian people who elected us and no one else.”

Gbajabiamila said the weakness in the current health system of the country requires that such legislation should be in place to help Nigeria contain other disease outbreaks similar to coronavirus.

As Nigeria’s coronavirus cases continue to rise, Gbajabiamila stated that there might no be a ‘normal’ life to return to after the global pandemic is over at an unknown time.

The minority leader Ndidi Elumelu also denied the allegation that the House received $10 million to pass the controversial bill.


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