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COVID-19 second wave: PDP wants new agency established, PTF scrapped

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the scrapping of the Presidential Tax Force on COVID-19 and the setting up of a “special department” under…

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the scrapping of the Presidential Tax Force on COVID-19 and the setting up of a “special department” under the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to tackle the scourge of the second wave of the pandemic.

The party in a statement on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the PTF and the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government was not doing enough to tackle the second wave of the virus.

The party said it was “unpardonable” that the lives of compatriots were increasingly becoming endangered, as citizens’, including prominent Nigerians’ deaths were daily being announced as a result of COVID-19, while the Buhari administration has allegedly remained lethargic “with no concrete commitment for solution.”

The PDP said it was 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 the country.

“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.

“More distressing is that the Presidential Task Force (PTF) 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 National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to professionally tackle the pandemic.

“Also, rather than allowing the Minister of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs to carry bundles of cash to the streets, under the guise of palliative measures, as was recorded during the first wave, the PDP demands that the federal government should channel such resources directly to the respective state governments to cushion the possible effects of the pandemic on the people,” the PDP said.

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