The Peoples Democratic Party has called on the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to dissolve the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 over alleged incompetence.
In a statement signed on Wednesday, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the PTF which was inaugurated in March 2020 has not demonstrated any capacity in handling the pandemic beyond the announcement of infections and associated fatalities.
The statement was titled, ‘COVID-19 Second Wave: PDP Laments FG’s Lack of Commitment…Demands Special Department To Tackle Pandemic’.
It partly read, “More distressing is that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has not demonstrated any capacity 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.
“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 Nigeria Center for Disease Control to professionally tackle the pandemic.”
Buhari had established the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on March 9, 2020, to coordinate and oversee the government’s efforts to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
The task force, which is chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has the two ministers of health, as well as those of aviation, education, humanitarian affairs and disaster management, amongst others as members. It had been reported that Buhari in December extended the mandate of the PTF till March 2021 but the opposition party said the ruling All Progressives Congress has failed to demonstrate efficiency in handling the second wave of the pandemic in Nigeria. The PDP further stated, “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.”
“Our party rejects the use of the pandemic as corruption drainpipe for All Progressives Congress leaders and their cronies in government circles,” the opposition party submitted.