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Controversial Infectious Disease Bill: CUPP kicks as Speaker conducts public hearing secretly

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The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has lampooned the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for conducting public hearing on the controversial Infectious Disease Control Bill secretly.

In a statement signed and sent to CAPITAL POST in Abuja on Wednesday by the group’s spokesman, Barr Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, he urged the opposition House members to rise in defence of democracy by rejeting the outcome.

He said, the bill cannot be forced on Nigerians because the House leader has been alledgedly mobilised from outside.

The CUPP maintained that shutting the press out when the bill would have been opened to the public has confirmed the Speaker’s surreptitious dealings, insisting that the Speaker must be brought down.

The statement reads:

“Nigerians have been treated to yet another shocking episode in the desperation of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila to force the compromised, plagiarized and sponsored Control of Infectious Diseases Bill down the throat of Nigerians.

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“Members of the House of Representatives Press Corps were locked out from the hearing venue and informed that only the Nigeria Television Authority, NTA and Channels TV would be allowed to cover the public hearing.

“Nigerians had expected a real public hearing that would have also afforded the Speaker the forum to clear his name from the allegations that he was in possession of external mobilization for the Bill to be passed, the public hearing which was forced on him is now being held in the secret.

“This is the first time in modern democracy that the world is witnessing a secret public hearing.

“Speaker Gbajabiamila continues to desecrate the Nigerian Parliament daily.

“The integrity, worth, essence and glory of the House of Representatives has departed and members of the House who still have honour, and they are in the majority, must start mobilizing for legislative fight on the floor of the Parliament if the already compromised outcome of today’s secret Owambe called public hearing is presented on the floor of the House.

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“Chasing Journalists away from the Venue of Public Hearing is a shameful barbaric conduct that can only be seen in Museveni’s Uganda Parliament or Parliaments of places like Somalia, Zimbabwe and Burundi.

“How did we get to a point that a man once convicted of dishonest act can hold all of us, especially House of Representatives to political ransom without the lawmakers rising up to take him down.

“This same Speaker Gbajabiamila set up an unlawful ad hoc Committee headed by (a PDP turned APC agent) Hon. Henry Nwawuba to investigate the Spokesman of the CUPP where he mobilized all the media houses while also allowing the halls to be filled to capacity.

“Yet today, he believes the only group of Nigerians who would make the hall to be rowdy is the media whose duty it is to inform millions of Nigerians who are not inside that hall that their views have been heard and that the Bill has been rejected.

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“Public activities of the House are now shrouded in secrecy and only Speaker Gbajabiamila can tell Nigerians why!

The opposition calls on all opposition lawmakers who have not compromised the peoples struggle and indeed lawmakers from the ruling party to mobilize to resist the secret Public Hearing report consideration on the floor of the House for the sake of the Nigerian People.

“The House must stop the Speaker to avoid carrying the tag of House of Political Alleluia Boys where anything including making a legislation to turn a man into a woman or white into black can happen without questions or resistance

“It is time to take back the peoples Parliament before the Speaker burns it down and destroy our hard fought democracy.

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