COVID-19

BY GRACE ANYANWU, ABUJA – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised alarm over what it described as “the manifest lack of commitment and proactiveness” by the Buhari administration to check the spate of the second wave of COVID-19 and the escalating deaths arising from the spread of the pandemic in the country.

This is just as the Party said that it rejects the use of the pandemic as corruption drainpipe for the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders and their cronies in government circles.

It specifically noted that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has remained lethargic with no concrete commitment for solution, stressing that it is unpardonable that the lives of nation’s compatriots are increasingly becoming endangered, as citizens’, including prominent Nigerians’ deaths are daily being announced as a result of COVID-19.

The party equally expressed shock 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.

These were contained in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan in which the party stressed that 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 said that it 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.

According to the PDP; “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 Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to professionally tackle the pandemic.

“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,” the party said.

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