Eletiofe Reps block bill that would allow Nigerians sue government...

Reps block bill that would allow Nigerians sue government failure

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Lawmakers warned that passing the amendment bill would cause all manner of problems.

Members of the House of Representatives [NASS]

An amendment bill whose passage would have empowered Nigerians to sue the government for failing to provide basic welfare has been rejected by the House of Representatives.

The bill was blocked from being passed for a second reading after its sponsor, Sergius Ogun, led deliberations on it during plenary on Wednesday, November 24, 2021.

The bill sought to alter Section 6 of the constitution to allow the judiciary entertain lawsuits from Nigerians hoping to take the government to task for failing to provide basic necessities for citizens.

“What this bill is basically saying is that it should be amended so that people can take the government up when they fail to deliver on some of these basic objectives to the society,” the lawmaker said.

Muhammed Monguno, in his contribution, said he supported the spirit of the bill, but was against enforcing it.

The lawmaker cautioned that passing the bill would create chaos as the government cannot be realistically expected to provided for all citizens always.

“If this bill is passed, it’s an invitation to chaos and anarchy. There’s no state that will guarantee, to the extent of allowing it to be justiciable, putting food on every citizen’s table, or providing health care to each and every citizen to the extent that any act of failure or neglect on the part of the government will make the government liable,” he said.

Another member of the House, Herman Hembe, also noted that socialism has never worked anywhere in the world, but collapsed countries instead.

Even though he advocated for a humane government, the lawmaker said passing the amendment bill would cause all manner of problems, and collapse the system.

“The only thing that works is a system where people work and earn their keep,” he said.

A majority of lawmakers voted against passing the bill for a second reading when it was put to a voice vote by Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase.

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