COVID-19: PDP accuses PTF of incompetence, asks Buhari for dissolution

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to dissolve the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, describing it as incompetent.

The party disclosed this in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan on Wednesday.

Recall that Buhari formed the PTF on March 9, 2020 to coordinate the nation’s response to the pandemic.

In December 2020, the president extended the mandate of the task force to March 2021.

However, PDP said that the Boss Mustapha-led PTF has not demonstrated any capacity beyond mere announcement of figures of infected persons, deaths, recoveries, discharges and issues of local protocols.

The party said that beyond these, the PTF should but has failed to engage 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,” the statement read in part.

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The party alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)’s leaders and their cronies in government circles have been using the pandemic as a “corruption drainpipe”.

“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 statement further read.

PDP said it was alarmed by “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 our country”.

The party 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 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.

“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.”

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