The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of COVID-19 issues as an “unpardonable manifestation of leadership failure.”
The opposition party was responding to the announcement by the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu that state governments should now start taking ownership of the COVID-19 response.
The party said the statement by the PTF coordinator was an acceptance of failure by President Buhari, “who failed to lead from the front but abdicated the task to incompetent and narrow-minded officials.”
This was contained in a statement the national publicity secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan released on Friday.
The party said Buhari Presidency’s decision to run to state governors for solution after “it had badly muddled up the process, leading to confusion across the country and consequential spike in infection and fatality rates, is rather coming very late in the day.”
The statement further read, “Nigerians can recall how our party and other well-meaning Nigerians repeatedly counseled the Buhari Presidency to involve state governors, the private sector and critical stakeholders for an effective multisectoral and multilayered approach, to no avail.
“The Buhari Presidency rebuffed wise counsels and settled for a parochial response marred by corruption, nepotism, incompetence and narrow-minded politics, only to now turn to seek to transfer the brunt of its colossal failure to state governors.”
The PDP noted that the poor handling of the COVID-19 response has further highlighted the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government’s lack of capacity to manage important national issues.
“Our party invites Nigerians to note that the three states, where the Buhari-led Federal Government took up the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, namely; Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states, had recorded very high statistics in infection and fatality rates compared to states where it was not involved.
“This shows that had President Buhari involved the states and allowed for a multilayered, people-based approach in the distribution of palliatives, development of therapeutics and implementation of protocols, the situation would have been better handled.
“Now that the Buhari Presidency has come to its wits end, our party urges governors elected on the platform of the PDP to assist their colleagues in the APC with information, strategies and expertise, for effective national response for the pandemic.
“Furthermore, the PDP urges Mr. President and his PTF to do the nation a favour by taking accommodation in the backseat and allowing competent hands to manage the situation.
“Our party urges the state governors to brace up to the occasion and rally the private sector for homegrown solutions, which the APC-led Federal Government had failed to achieve due to sheer incompetence and corruption.”
It also called on the Buhari Presidency to immediately give detailed account of all funds and other resources it claimed to have spent, particularly on palliatives; a scheme, it said had been “exposed to be a huge scam”.