- The controversial infectious diseases bill has pitched the House of Rep members against Governor Tambuwal of Sokoto state
- The Nigerian Governors Forum had asked the lawmakers to drop the bill, asking for a consultative meeting, following an update from Tambuwal who is NGF's vice chairman
- Though the lawmakers agreed to meet with the governors, they asked the NGF to disqualify Tambuwal from participating in the meeting, saying he has misled his colleagues
The House of Representatives has called for the disqualification of Sokoto state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, in the proposed consultative meeting with the Nigeria Governors Forum over the infectious diseases bill.
Vanguard reports that the spokesman of the house, Ben Kalu, said on Thursday, May 14, that Governor Tambuwal was biased towards the bill.
Kalu accused the Sokoto state governor of misleading and misguiding the governors' forum into asking the House to jettison the bill.
The lawmaker said the House of Representatives does not legislate for states and so, will not be cowed from doing its constitutional responsibility.
Kalu said as a former speaker of the House, Tambuwal ought to rightly inform his colleague governors but failed to do so.
The spokesman, however, said the governors' forum should submit their stand on the bill during the proposed public hearing on the bill where Nigerians will air their views.
Kalu, however, said the House is ready to work with the committee raised by the NGF to meet members of the lower legislative chamber.
He, nevertheless, said Governor Tambuwal should not be part of the committee since he could not appropriately guide his colleagues on the matter with his experience as a former speaker.
Legit.ng notes that Kalu was reacting to a communique issued by the state governors asking the House to drop the infectious diseases bill.
The governors said they were not properly consulted on the issue, citing an update from Tambuwal.
The Control of Infectious Diseases Bill was sponsored by the speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
The bill has become controversial since its contents became public knowledge.
In a related development, the former senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Dino Melaye has dragged Gbajabiamila to court over the infectious diseases bill which recommends compulsory vaccination in the country, among other provisions.
The former National Assembly member disclosed his action against Gbajabiamila in a tweet on Monday, May 4.
Reacting the controversies generated by the proposed bill, Gbajabiamila said the bill is still a proposal subject to consideration, amendment and improvement.
The speaker said none of the allegations against the bill is true.
"This House of Representatives will never, take any action that purposes to bring harm to any Nigerian here at home or abroad," he said.
Gbajabiamila explained that the new bill was introduced because the current framework for the prevention and management of infectious diseases in the country is obsolete and no longer fit for purpose.
"The current law severely constrains the ability of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to take proactive action to prevent the entry into Nigeria of Infectious diseases and the management of public health emergencies when they occur.
"Even now, the government remains vulnerable to claims that some directives already being implemented to manage the present crisis do not have the backing of the law and therefore cannot withstand judicial scrutiny," the speaker said.
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