The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the opposition has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately dissolve the President Taskforce on COVID-19 over what it called “manifest lack of commitment and proactiveness” of the committee.

The demand was made in a statement issued by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan on Wednesday.

Ologbondiyan noted that the PTF has not demonstrated any capacity in handling the pandemic beyond the announcement of infections and associated fatalities.

The spokesman further stated that 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.

“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,” the statement read in part.

 

The PTF was constituted 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 after it broke out 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.

The opposition party also expressed concern that Buhari did not allocate any fund for the committee in the 2021 budget, saying it is the height of failure and incompetence of the present government.

“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.

“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,” the PDP added.

“Furthermore, our party rejects the use of the pandemic as corruption drainpipe for All Progressives Congress, APC, leaders and their cronies in government circles.”

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