By Dirisu Yakubu
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Wednesday chided the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government over what it called its “manifest lack of commitment and proactiveness” to check the spate of the second wave of COVID-19 and the accompanying deaths across the country.
The party in a statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said it was “unpardonable that the lives of our compatriots are increasingly becoming endangered, as citizens’, including prominent Nigerians’ deaths are daily being announced as a result of COVID-19, while the Buhari administration has remained lethargic with no concrete commitment for solution.”
The statement further read: “The PDP is shocked that the Buhari administration did not make any budgetary provision in the 2021 appropriation for the acquisition of essential therapeutics, including vaccines, even in the face of the heightened anxieties over the second wave of the pandemic in our nation.
“It is indeed the height of leadership failure that the federal government has not been able to take a decision on the type and quantity of vaccines expected as well as ancillary facilities and associated logistics.
“The PDP is however not surprised at such governance indolence and confusion as the current system under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch is plagued by endemic corruption, mediocrity, incompetence and laissez-faire attitude to issues that have to do with the wellbeing of Nigerians.
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“It is on record that the lethargic attitude, for which the Buhari administration has become known, also encouraged the reported diversion of COVID-19 funds and palliatives meant to cushion the effect of the pandemic, leaving Nigerians to survive the last horrendous situation through self-help.
“More distressing is that the Presidential Task Force, PTF, on COVID-19 has not demonstrated any capacity beyond mere announcement of figures of infected persons, deaths, recoveries, discharges and issues of local protocols rather than engaging in epidemiology, researches and production of equipment, drugs, therapeutics and other medical palliatives that can help stave off the impact of the global pandemic.
“On account of this, the PDP restates our demands for the dissolution of the PTF and in its place allow a convergence of experts in a special department under the purview of the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, to professionally tackle the pandemic.
“Furthermore, our party rejects the use of the pandemic as corruption drainpipe for All Progressives Congress, APC, leaders and their cronies in government circles.
“Also, rather than allowing the Minister of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs to carry bundles of cash to the streets, under the guise of palliative measures, as was recorded during the first wave, the PDP demands that the federal government should channel such resources directly to the respective state governments to cushion the possible effects of the pandemic on the people.”