The Peoples Democratic Party has said “the manifest incompetence” of President Muhammadu Buhari as well as his failure to lead from the front are responsible for Nigeria’s failure to check the spread of COVID-19.
The PDP raised the alarm following the increase in infection and mortality rates in Nigeria.
It said this could 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.
This was contained in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, on Sunday.
Ologbondiyan said, “The party notes that the situation had been worsened by greedy and corrupt All Progressives Congress leaders and the cabal in the Presidency, who are cashing in on President Buhari’s ineffectiveness to pillage resources meant for the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in our country.”
But in its response, the Buhari Media Organisation, dismissed PDP’s allegations.
It insisted that the President is setting transparency standards in the management of the COVID-19 funds that the PDP finds difficult to comprehend.
The BMO said this in a statement signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke, respectively.
The BMO statement read in part, “President Muhammadu Buhari is setting a standard in transparency and integrity with the handling of Covid-19 funds that the Peoples Democratic Party is finding difficult to comprehend.”
However, the PDP stressed that it was distressing that since the outbreak of the pandemic in Nigeria, the President 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.
According to the PDP spokesperson, 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.
On the gradual easing of the lockdown, the PDP said, “given that Mr President is working from a blind spot due to his narrow involvement in the fight.”
It said, “His (Buhari’s) 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.”
The party also said the President’s failure is also responsible for our nation’s inability to rally indigenous researchers, manufactures, virologists and healers for homegrown solutions, which would have arrested the situation in our country.