Nigeria in Unusual Times, Says PDP Senate Caucus

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Deji Elumoye and Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the Senate has described as unusual what Nigeria is currently going through with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The party, however, commended the federal government efforts towards combatting the ravaging COVID-19 as contained in President Muhammadu Buhari’s national broadcast to Nigerians last Sunday evening.

In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the caucus said though they had expected the presidency to engage the National Assembly more in some of the policy areas that are statutory, however, they have to recognise the fact that these are unusual times that may require quick policy responses.

“These are perilous times in the world and indeed an unusual situation for our dear country, so the PDP caucus described as a step in the right direction the president’s broadcast and policy measures, which we believe while being short on prioritising the poor and vulnerable in our society, nevertheless, if properly implemented, will keep our people safe from this deadly virus,” he said.

Abaribe stressed that the caucus is ready to work and engage in a bipartisan manner with the presidency, including reconvene should the need arise to ensure that the country curb the spread of COVID-19, which has held down the entire world.

The caucus, however, canvassed for proper monitoring of the disbursement of the palliative measures to ensure that it gets to the people it is meant for “and we also call for humane approach by the relevant security agencies while strictly implementing the measures that has to do with the restrictions of movement of our people.

“The security agencies should bear in mind that these are unusual times and first of its kind experience that Nigerians would be asked to stay home and maintain social distance. As such, the approach should be more of humane engagement rather than the application of force.”

Nonetheless, the PDP caucus, according to Abaribe, advised Nigerians to adhere strictly to the federal government directives and other containment measures rolled out by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), adding that doing so would certainly put the ravaging virus at bay.

“It could be tough, but the measures are necessary now if we must survive this deadly scourge and emerge stronger after,” he stated.