Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s long-awaited broadcast on the COVID-19 pandemic as empty and full of hypocrisy.
In a statement on Sunday night by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition PDP said the president’s speech failed to address the major demands of Nigerians who are residents of the states where Buhari had ordered a lockdown.
The PDP added that outside the social distancing and isolation, which Nigerians had already imposed on themselves, the president had no new solutions to offer the country amidst the spread of the virus.
The party advised the President to reduce the pump price of fuel from N125 per liter to an appropriate price of N80 to N90 per liter to ease the sufferings of Nigerians and further serve as a palliative for the impact of the disease.
The statement reads: “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. It is rather unfortunate that Nigerians had to wait this long for an address that came out empty and failed to respond to anxieties.
“Moreover, Nigerians expected Mr. 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.
“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.”