Rep wants face coverings removed in bedrooms and lists dangers
A member of the House of Representatives, Olufemi Adebanjo, protested Thursday against the continued wearing of face masks in the chamber, saying it had adverse health consequences.
The lawmaker, who represents Alimosho Federal Constituency in Lagos State, raised a point of order regarding the privilege saying members were no longer obeying COVID-19 protocols and therefore the House should suspend wearing masks in the room.
Adebanjo said, “I want to inform the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives, regarding the masking of our faces when entering the chamber. In the past two months, I haven’t heard of any cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria or abroad.
“Mr. Speaker, the masking has been very painful, and the sooner we relax the rule that requires members to wear a mask, the better. If you look around you can see how many people are using the mask.
“It affects our respiratory system and our lungs. Thus, there is no more COVID-19 in Nigeria and abroad. I would prefer that we relax the rule, Mr. Speaker.
House Deputy Speaker Ahmed Wase, who chaired the session, said lawmakers were required to obey federally mandated safety protocols, particularly through the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, which was created by a law enacted by the National Assembly.
Wase said, “I want to inform that as legislators we are expected to follow the rules set for the country, the Constitution and the laws. It is by the permission of the House and the grace of God that we have the Nigeria Center for Disease Control and it is responsible for regulating our affairs and our conduct.
“It is not for the President to rule on his duty duly prescribed by a law of the National Assembly. I want to implore that we continue to comply with the regulations established for our country and the world. We note your concern. Your point of order is noted.
The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, led by Federation Government Secretary Boss Mustapha, had said in October that officials without proof of vaccination and negative polymerase chain reaction tests would not be allowed access. to government buildings from December. 1, 2021.
The order was applied to the Federal Secretariat, forcing officials to besiege the ad hoc vaccination centers established in the vicinity.
The leadership of the National Assembly reportedly said that the federal government’s order that its workers must be vaccinated to access their respective offices could not be enforced at the National Assembly complex.
The Director of Information, Mr. Rawlings Agada, noted that restricting access to the premises would cause chaos as the workers constituted only a percentage of the population of the National Assembly community.
This is at the same time that security protocols have been relaxed in the National Assembly.
Workers, it was observed, continue to have unimpeded access to the premises.
Despite the appearance of Omicron, a deadlier variant of the COVID-19 virus, lawmakers have largely avoided safety protocols.
For example, before the National Assembly began its annual two-month vacation in July last year, the wearing of masks was made compulsory for people entering the premises, in particular bedrooms, bathrooms committee and offices.
Hand sanitizers and vending machines have been installed at strategic locations in the building.
There were also dozens of hand sanitizers spread around the seats of the Senate and House of Representatives chambers, while lawmakers were spaced out with vacant seats to allow for social distancing.
Some of these protocols have been shunned since the return to parliament in September and in particular during budget defense sessions with ministries, departments and agencies on the 2022 finance bill.
A body sanitizer, intended to spray people as they enter the White House section, has been removed.
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