OrderPaperToday – The Spokesperson of the House of Representatives and sponsor of the controversial motion to evacuate Nigerians from China over the dreaded coronavirus ravaging the world, Mr. Ben Kalu (APC, Abia) has vowed that he will reintroduce the motion.
The House rejected the motion earlier today during plenary over fears that the virus will spread to the populace if evacuees from China are allowed into the country.
Speaking to Channels TV after the little drama that resulted into the rejection of the motion, he said that the members only rejected the motion due to “self-preservation instinct.”
The motion which intended to compel federal government to repatriate Nigerians in Wuhan China, the epicentre of the virus was rejected by the House.
The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila while appealing to the members to allow the motion by Kalu to be read said that “no one wants to bring anyone to come for others to be infested” and that the people to be evacuated will be quarantined for 14 days.
According to Mr. Kalu, “Section 14 of the constitution mandated us to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians, and the constitution did not mandate us to do that for people who are not within our boundaries of our nation. Once a Nigerian is always a Nigerian wherever you are. If you are carrying our passport there is a constitutional mandate for the government to take care of what concerns you. This motion today was to help Nigerians who are in Wuhan China, who have sent their letters to the commission of Nigerians in Diaspora.
“The lawmakers rejected the motion due to self-preservation. Once you hear Coronavirus, some people are scared that they are going to be affected, family people will be affected. That is human nature, but I know that maybe they did not understand the full details of the motion, and that is why we are going to follow the rules of the House and apply for a need to rescind the decision of today.”
On the comment by Mr. Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta) that Nigeria is not equipped to contain the coronavirus, Kalu said that “it bothers me actually; I believe in this country. It was this same country that tackled Ebola, and we were celebrated by the World Health Organization. To come back and tell me that Nigeria cannot handle the quarantined Nigerians coming back to Nigeria by putting them in a facility for two weeks and later integrate them into the society, I do not agree with that, I think Nigeria can handle that.
“I am not going to stop, I will continue to push this, until we listen to the cry of Nigerians who are outside the country, who want to be integrated back to Nigeria.”