By Chuks Okocha
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday said it had noted the apology by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 pandemic, Boss Mustapha, on the violation of health safety and social restriction directives by certain government officials during the funeral of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari. It howeved called for the prosecution of all governemnt officials that violated the social distancing order.
A statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said, “Our party understands that the apology came after widespread condemnation of the conduct of such government officials and other individuals at the funeral”.
The PDP described as unfortunate that those who made and enforced rules over ordinary Nigerians were found directly violating the same rules with impunity, thereby compromising the efforts to check the spread of the pandemic in the country.
It said, “Our party holds that the SGF and other government officials including PTF members ought to have shown respect to the memory of Mallam Kyari by conducting themselves in a manner that should have served as a guide to other Nigerians in the fight against COVID-19”.
It said this was not an act that apology by the SGF would be enough, as it did not drive home the issue at stake to the public as well as to government officials.
Consequently, the PDP called on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) authorities, in line with its actions against ordinary Nigerians who had flouted the rules, to immediately prosecute all government functionaries involved in this violation.
PDP said that Nigerians had all watched how the FCT prosecuted residents at various mobile courts across the territory. Justice would therefore only be done and of course, seen to have been done, if the FCT toes the same line in this instance.
“Nigeria as a nation is governed by the constitution in which all Nigerians are deemed equal before the law. Our officials must learn to respect rules made and enforced by them, particularly at this trying time”, the main opposition party in Nigeria said.
The PDP however urged Nigerians not to allow this development to make them lose faith in the overall mutli-sectoral effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PDP also charged all citizens to redouble their efforts in adhering to the restriction order as well as health safety directives of social distancing and personal hygiene, adding that with the concerted effort of all, the nation will defeat the scourge.