The main opposition party in Nigeria, The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has criticized the third covid-19 Address of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying it is appalled that the President again, failed to offer decisive solutions to protect Nigerians from the deadly pandemic.
In a statement signed by the PDP’s publicity secretary, Mr Kola Olongbodiyan, The party stated that it is disappointed that President Buhari did not offer any post lockdown stimulus to assist Nigerians in the private sector whose businesses had been crippled by the lockdown and are now faced with the burden of workers’ salaries and business refinancing.
“The PDP lamented that apart from the elementary lockdown and failed palliative showboating, President Buhari did not offer a decisive solution regarding the production of drugs, testing kits and management of equipment to safeguard Nigerians, despite the huge resources at the disposal of his administration.”
The party further described as saddening that President Buhari did not address the demands by Nigerians to end his administration’s political parochialism and engage competent hands, including indigenous researchers, equipment manufacturers, pharmaceutical, medical as well as virology experts to infuse homegrown therapeutic solutions in the overall effort.
The party insists that had President Buhari heeded this demand by Nigerians at the onset of the pandemic, the situation would not have escalated to this frightening level with no solutions in sight.
The PDP also stated that it finds it “difficult to reconcile President Buhari’s assurances of adequate test kits with the disposition of the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) which declared that it is desperately in shortage of test kits and other medical equipment to combat the scourge.”
“Our party invites Nigerians to observe how countries like Senegal had effectively mobilized their indigenous medical researchers and manufacturers to produce low-cost quick testing kits as well as ventilators while investing massively in the production of drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.”
The PDP says it has completely lost faith in the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, which is referred to as being “technically bogged down under the coordination of individuals that have not demonstrated required experience and proficiency to manage a serious pandemic like COVID-19.”
The PDP demands an immediate reorganization of the PTF to eliminate political underlining and vest the responsibility on known experts to galvanize public and private institutions in Nigeria for solutions.
According to the PDP, “President Buhari should immediately rally efforts within the public and private sectors to provide post lockdown stimulus for the private sector while eliminating corruption to ensure the distribution of palliatives to target vulnerable citizens.”
It is also worrisome that President Buhari failed to address the corruption in the administration of palliatives as well as the position of his government on the handling of donations and the spending template of other COVID-19 related funds.
The PDP urged Nigerians to note that the Buhari Presidency has reached its wit’s end on the management of COVID-19 pandemic and as such must remain vigilant in their self-protection efforts against the scourge.
The Party advised Nigerians to continue to strictly adhere to health safety measures of social distancing, personal hygiene and avoiding of large gatherings until the pandemic is over.