The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the disbandment of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha. In its place, the party called for “a convergence of experts in a special department under the purview of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)” to tackle the second wave of COVID-19.
PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, decried what it described as “lack of commitment and proactiveness” by President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to check the spate of the virus in the country and the escalating deaths arising from the spread of the pandemic.
The party noted that an increasing number of Nigerians have been endangered by the virus while a number of deaths including prominent Nigerians, are being recorded on a daily basis. PDP said the Buhari administration has remained lethargic with no concrete commitment for solution and expressed shock that no budgetary provision was made “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.
“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.”
The party regretted that the PTF on COVID-19 has not demonstrated the capacity to combat the pandemic “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.”
It alleged the use of the pandemic as corruption drainpipe by All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders and their cronies in government circles. PDP advised that, 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 Federal Government should channel such resources directly to the respective state governments to cushion the possible effects of the pandemic on the people.