The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s yesterday broadcast was disappointing as it failed to address the issue of palliative measures that could reduce the hardship from the lockdown.
The main opposition party has also cautioned the officials of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government to stop using the COVID-19 pandemic as a gateway for corrupt profiteering and looting of the national treasury.
The party said that the speech, just like the pre-recorded broadcast of March 29, 2020, failed to address salient issues of urgent concerns to Nigerians in their daily struggle against the spread of the plague in the country.
The party expressed sadness that the President has again failed to show leadership and displayed total lack of touch with reality as he failed to give any hope on palliatives to the ordinary Nigerians as they face hunger and economic pangs of the lockdown.
According to a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said that it is more painful that President Buhari could not address the immediate needs of the people or provide a trajectory that will take care of their future.
PDP said that the President argued that the country with a rehash of global data already known to Nigerians in addition to promises that are far-flung departures from the harsh realities on the ground.
“Nigerians expected Mr. President to directly address the established failures of his palliatives distribution, particularly the provision of funds to the poorest of the poor, which has been marred by allegations of corruption and diversion of funds. This is in addition to allegations of diversion of rice and other food items meant for the poor masses.
“Can Mr. President claim not to be aware that not a handful of Nigerians have received any palliatives and that huge majority of our citizens are complaining that they have not been reached with any panacea despite his administration’s claim of having reached 2.6 million household?”
According to the main opposition party, announcing the expansion of the palliative scope to 3.6 million households without addressing the failure of the scheme and with no parameter to showcase the declared expansion is an encouragement of the corrupt system that has been depriving Nigerians.
The PDP challenged the president to disprove Nigerians by publishing documents showing the beneficiaries of the claimed 2.6 million household social intervention, the benefiting communities as well as the parameters that will be deployed for the additional one million household.
According to the statement, “Our party holds that what have been witnessed in the last two weeks is a total incapacity and fraud by those he has currently charged with the responsibility of taking palliatives to the people”.
PDP said there are serious agitations and unrests in Lagos, Ogun states and some parts of the FCT where Nigerians, who earn their means of livelihood on daily basis and who have been locked out from their means of subsistence and can no longer withstand the pangs of hunger, are becoming restless.
“Our party still believes that Mr. President needs to quickly retool his approach and adopt an all-encompassing model that will take care of the hunger and deprivations, which this lockdown has imposed on Nigerians”
Meanwhile, the PDP has cautioned officials of the APC-led federal government to stop using the COVID-19 pandemic as a gateway for corrupt profiteering and looting of the national treasury.
The party also appealed to all anti-graft agencies to be on the look-out while calling on the National Assembly to step up its oversight functions to prevent an anticipated looting of the donations by both corporate organisations and Nigerians, and avoid misappropriation of the donated funds.