COVID-19: Buhari’s incompetence, backseat governance destroying Nigeria – PDP

By Valentine Amanze

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has come hard on the Nigeria’s leader, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Presidency over the ravaging coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
The main opposition party alleged that the incompetence of the nation’s leadership as well as Buhari’s lack of
visibility and failure to personally lead from the front were responsible
for the failure to check the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, wept over the alarming increase in infection and mortality rates in Nigeria.
It said that the rate would have been curtailed if the nation had a
competent, proactive and transparent leadership with the capacity to articulate a quick national response to the pandemic.
The party lamented that the situation had been worsened by greedy and corrupt All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders and the cabal in the
Presidency, whom it alleged were cashing in on President Buhari’s ineffectiveness to pillage resources meant for the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
The PDP described as distressing that since the outbreak of the pandemic in Nigeria, Buhari had not demonstrated the desired visibility;
addressed the nation only thrice (each time, after much prodding), after which he had remained out of public visibility, leading to lack of effective coordination of the fight against the pandemic.
It also alleged that Buhari has failed to act on wise suggestions by well-meaning Nigerians, particularly on administration of palliatives and production of homegrown therapeutics.
“Since the third recorded broadcast, Mr. President had receded into the safety of the Aso Presidential Villa, leaving his inept aides to continue to issue disjointed claims and uncoordinated directives.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note that President Buhari’s failure to make himself visible and personally lead from the front had resulted in the failure to develop a strong all-inclusive and seamless national
response against the pandemic; leading to diverse responses by various states and a consequent spike in spread and mortality rates,” it stated.
The PDP also said that President Buhari had woefully failed to spur and lead a strong teamwork of federal, state governments and the organized private sector for a proactive response that would have checked the spread of the pandemic in the country.
The party said that President Buhari’s backseat approach had also encouraged the reckless pillaging of COVID-19 palliatives by his officials, leaving majority of poor and vulnerable Nigerians unattended to; a principal factor responsible for the general poor compliance to
lockdown directives in major cities.

It said, given that Mr. President was working from a blind spot due to his narrow involvement in the fight, his reopening of the
economy without any post-lockdown stimulus had further worsened the situation as the resultant economic stampede had led to massive violation of health safety and social distancing protocols.
“Our party holds that Mr. President’s failure is also responsible for our nation’s inability to rally indigenous researchers,
manufacturers, virologists and healers for homegrown solutions, which would have arrested the situation in our country.
“Rather, the Buhari Presidency is laidback, waiting for foreign solutions
while the pandemic ravages our nation.

Moreover, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had been bogged down by political parochialism and abysmal corruption for which it is shutting out our known experts from coming in to assist our nation with
solutions at this critical time,” it said.

The PDP therefore called on President Buhari to accept failure, wake up to the realities of the pandemic and justify his huge upkeep with
national resources by personally leading in this fight as Nigerians will
never accept any eventual resort to scapegoatism by his Presidency.

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