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COVID-19: Buhari’s Speech Disappointing, Failed to Address Palliatives – PDP

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described Monday’s COVID-19
Pandemic speech by President Muhammadu Buhari as very disappointing.

The party says the speech, just like 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 our country.

The party expressed sadness that Mr. President 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.

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.

Instead, Mr. President bored our nation 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.

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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?

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 challenges Mr. 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.

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.

Already, there are serious agitations and unrests in Lagos, Ogun 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.

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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

President Buhari should be forthcoming on what palliatives are
accruable, in the immediate, to each state of the federation in this
national fight against the pandemic.

This is because, given our peculiar federal system, we still insist that
the fastest approach to reach the people is through the state and local
governments using methods like traditional institutions, community
leadership and faith based organizations.

The PDP therefore charges President Buhari to reorder his approach to
cover the incentives his administration will provide to save the lives
and jobs of Nigerians and then address the nation again accordingly.

PDP invites compatriots to continue to provide help for one another as
we continue to stay safe and obey World Health Organizations guidelines.

Signed

Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

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