By Chuks Okocha
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in its reaction to President Muhammadu Buhari’s long-awaited address on the COVID-19 pandemic, said the address was empty and failed to address the salient demands of the impact of the scourge on the nation.
The party in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan noted that outside the social distancing and isolation, which Nigerians had already imposed on themselves, Buhari had no new solutions to offer the nation.
The PDP said it regretted that the address did not touch on the real necessities of majority of Nigerians who reside in the states where President Buhari had ordered a lockdown.
According to the PDP, “It is unfortunate that Mr. President failed to respond to demands on hope for medications, direct social palliatives, cut in taxes as well as reduction in the pump price of fuel even with the cut in the price of petroleum and crude oil in the international market.
“Our party notes as saddening that even in areas where Mr. President announced an ambitious intervention, such remained largely cosmetic as there are no clear palliative content but moratoriums on loans with no clear data for implementation.
“Mr. President is reminded that already, the COVID-19 had affected the performance of those loans. Granting them moratoriums is therefore of no consequence to the capital and interest on them,” PDP stated.
The party said that it is rather unfortunate that Nigerians had to wait this long for an address that came out empty and failed to respond to anxieties.
The main opposition party said, Nigerians expected the President to articulate an across-the-board and far-reaching strategy that would have captured the need of each state of the federation as they were today, instead of a parochial approach to a national anxiety.
It said, “President Buhari should therefore go back, listen to the nation, retool his policy framework and implementation strategy to properly address the fears as well as the needs of Nigerians, including health safety measures and the real remedies that meet the anxieties of our nation at this critical time”.