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NCDC BILL

                                                      NCDC Bill: The Hitler Attempt 

So it turns out, the bill drafted by Nigerian Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) is a fine replica (like Tweedledee and Tweedledum) of Singapore’s Infectious Diseases Act of 1977 under the the regime of a dictator – prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew.  Now you get the idea. 

They can’t even come up with their own  material. 

In the wake of a deadly virus ravaging the world we know, you would expect the NCDC to swing in to action come up with something soothing to aid us through this period,  but in reality they have come up with a  plagiarised and brutish piece of draft legislation that has set tongues wagging from different quarters of the country. 

With COVID-19 claiming a reasonable amount of  lives in  the country,  The Infectious Disease Act was supposed to provide a framework for the government for a better management of the disease. The Bill cramped up amid a deadly virus should have addressed  the challenges and the flat footed approaches the government has made towards curbing it,  but rather they launched an Adolf Hitler ambition. 

One clear fact about the bill is that it is not actually a bill but something else. It is not designed to save  Nigerian lives from the breakout of any infectious disease like it is supposed to . But rather  it is the Direction General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)  and  the Minister of Health’s Hail Mary attempt for unjustified power.

This Bill gives too much power to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in the management of of infectious diseases and pandemic in the country in ways that could infringe fundamental Human Rights of Nigeria. 

We are looking at a prospect of a forceful and mandatory vaccination which is crazy.  Nobody  has to be forced to take a vaccine.  There is no vaccination going on in China, USA, or the UK so where are these coming  from and what is the agenda behind it? 

Conspiracy theorists are eating this one up and the daggers are out for the House speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.

The bill’s problematic feature becomes Clear in sections 15 which states in part that ” the Minister may,  for a purpose of preventing the spread or possible outbreak of an infectious disease,  by notification in the Gazette  declare any premises to be an isolation area. A person who leaves or attempt to leave or is suspected of having left an isolation area in contention  of an order under subsection (3) may be arrested without warrant by any police officer or any health officer authorized in writing in that behalf of the Director General. “

Did you  notice where it said “arrest without warrant”?  Bruhari had this kind of power in the 80’s. 

Other provision of the bill stipulates that: ” The Director General may,  subject to such conditions or restrictions as he thinks fit,  appoint any public officer,  officer of any statutory body;  or employee of a prescribed  institution,  to be a health officer for purpose of this Act.”

“The Director General may,  subject to such conditions or restrictions as he thinks fit,  delegate to any health officer or any of the powers conferred to him by this Act. Every medical practitioners who has reason to believe or suspect that any person attended or treated by him is suffering from any infectious disease or is a carrier of that disease shall notify the Director General within the prescribed time and in such form of manner as the Director General may require. “

“The Director General  may order any person who,  or is suspected to be,  a case or carrier or contact of any infectious disease to be detained  and isolated in a hospital or other place for such period of time and subject to such conditions as the Director General may determine. “

 ” In an outbreak or a suspected outbreak of any infectious disease in any area of Nigeria,  the Director General may by order direct any person or class of persons not protected or vaccinated against  the disease to undergo vaccination or or other prophylaxis within  such period as may be specified in the order.”

I don’t know if you get the idea.  What this means is that the Director General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), an unelected bureaucrat and a non-political motivated individual will possess the power to make political decisions and call presidential shots.  How did that get in to a bill that is supposed to help Nigerians survive the pandemic outbreak. 

It gets better… 

Section 24 of the the bill states that police officers are empowered to “apprehend and take” anyone in any public location who is “suffering  from an infectious disease.”

What does that even  mean? 

Common cold,  cough, chicken pox, measles are all infectious disease.  And what qualifications do police officers have to dictate if someone has an infectious diseases? 

Section 71 gets even better than the previous.  It states that the DG and his enforcers in the police and paramilitary forces can never be held accountable for what they use these powers to do. The section reads: “No liability shall lie personally against the Director-General, any Health Officer, any Port Health Officer, any police officer or any authorized person who, acting in good faith and with reasonable care, does or omits to do anything in the execution or purported.

The Nigerian Infectious Diseases Control Bill flies across everything  a democratic state stands for and carefully treads on the Nigerian human right policy. 

But who cares care anyway..

Nigeria is run by a party who  plagiarized  a whole manifesto in the recent elect.  Will this this bill actually pose any kind of problem to them? 

Written by Ekechi Gerard 

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