ABUJA — A member of the House of Representatives, Olufemi Adebanjo has protested against the continuous wearing of face masks in the chamber, saying there are no more cases of COVID-19 in the country.
Hon. Adebanjo, the lawmaker representing Alimosho federal constituency of Lagos State, gave the charge at plenary when he raised a point of order on Thursday, urging the National Assembly to relax the COVID-19 protocols on wearing face masks.
The lawmaker said his position was premised on the fact that for the past two months he has not heard of any case of COVID-19 in Nigeria or abroad which shows the pandemic is over, and as such, the wearing of face masks in the chamber should be stopped.
“I want to inform the national assembly, especially the house of representatives, concerning the masking of our faces coming to the chamber,” the lawmaker who was not wearing a face mask said.
“For the past two months, I have not heard of any case of COVID in Nigeria or abroad. The masking has been very painful and the earlier the better we relax the rule that compulsorily asks honourable members to wear the mask. If you look around you can see how many people are wearing the mask.
“It affects our respiratory system and our lungs. So there is no more COVID-19 in Nigeria, there is no more COVID-19 abroad, in fact, let us relax the rules, Mr. Speaker.”
However, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Idris Wase, who acknowledged the point of order said as lawmakers, the House can not be breaking the law.
Hon. Wase said the COVID-19 protocols have been set by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) created by an Act of the National Assembly, hence the parliament can not violate rules made by the Centre.
“I want to advise, as legislators we are supposed to be compliant with rules, the constitution, the acts and it is by the leave of the House that we have the NCDC for regulating our affairs and conduct.
“So, it is not for the Speaker to rule on their duty that has been assigned to them duly by the act of the National Assembly. I want to beg that we should continue to comply with the regulations set for our country and the world.
“We note your concern. As you were speaking, I didn’t see you with the mask. I’m grateful that you have now worn the mask. Your point of order is noted,” he stated.
Latest posts by By Ezinwanne Onwuka (Senior Reporter) (see all)
OPINION: Conspiracy and Mistrust Poison Congolese Politics