The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari over his Monday, April 27, 2020, COVID-19 address, noting that he offered no solution to protect Nigerians from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the main opposition party expressed disappointment that President Buhari did not offer any post-lockdown stimulus to assist Nigerians in the private sector whose businesses have been crippled by the lockdown, and are now faced with the burden of workers’ salaries and business refinancing.
They noted that apart from the elementary lockdown and failed palliative distribution, 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 did not address the demands by Nigerians to end his administration’s political parochialism and engage competent professionals, such as indigenous researchers, pharmaceutical practitioners, equipment manufacturers, medical as well as virology experts to infuse homegrown therapeutic solutions in the overall effort.
The party opines that had President heeded this demand by Nigerians at the onset of the pandemic, the situation would not have escalated to its current level, and number of confirmed cases would not have risen to this extent with no solution in sight.
PDP is therefore calling on 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 medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The party said it has completely lost faith in the Presidential Task Force, PTF, on COVID-19, and is demanding an immediate revamp. They also urged President Buhari to provide post-COVID lockdown stimulus to the private sector.
The statement reads in part, “The PDP demands an immediate reorganization of the PTF to eliminate political underlining and vest the responsibility on known experts to galvanize our public and private institutions for solutions”.
“The PDP urged President Buhari to 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,” the added.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in his broadcast extended the lockdown in Abuja, Lagos, and Ogun States by one week.
From next week Monday, May 4, the president said, the lockdown will be relaxed in the three states but will begin the national curfews (8 p.m. to 6 a.m.).
The President also ordered the enforcement of a total lockdown in Kano State, with immediate effect.