The Peoples Democratic Party has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to dissolve the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 over alleged incompetence.
In a statement signed on Wednesday, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the PTF has not demonstrated any capacity in handling the pandemic beyond the announcement of infections and associated fatalities.
The statement was titled, ‘COVID-19 Second Wave: PDP Laments FG’s Lack of Commitment…Demands Special Department To Tackle Pandemic’.
It partly read, “More distressing is that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has not demonstrated any capacity beyond mere announcement of figures of infected persons, deaths, recoveries, discharges and issues of local protocols rather than engaging in epidemiology, researches and production of equipment, drugs, therapeutics and other medical palliatives that can help stave off the impact of the global pandemic.
“On account of this, the PDP restates our demands for the dissolution of the PTF and in its place allow a convergence of experts in a special department under the purview of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control to professionally tackle the pandemic.”
Buhari had established the PTF on March 9, 2020, to coordinate and oversee the government’s efforts to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
The task force, which is chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has the two ministers of health, as well as those of aviation, education, humanitarian affairs and disaster management, amongst others as members.
Recall that Buhari in December 2020 extended the mandate of the PTF till March 2021 but the opposition party said the ruling All Progressives Congress has failed to demonstrate efficiency in handling the second wave of the pandemic in Nigeria.
The PDP further stated, “The PDP is shocked that the Buhari administration did not make any budgetary provision in the 2021 Appropriation for the acquisition of essential therapeutics, including vaccines, even in the face of the heightened anxieties over the second wave of the pandemic in our nation.
“It is indeed the height of leadership failure that the Federal Government has not been able to take a decision on the type and quantity of vaccines expected as well as ancillary facilities and associated logistics.
“The PDP is however not surprised at such governance indolence and confusion as the current system under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch is plagued by endemic corruption, mediocrity, incompetence and laissez-faire attitude to issues that have to do with the wellbeing of Nigerians.”
“Our party rejects the use of the pandemic as corruption drainpipe for All Progressives Congress leaders and their cronies in government circles,” the opposition party submitted.
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2023: We’ll Reproduce Burnt PVCs, Attacks Can’t Stop Elections, INEC Assures
A former Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mike Igini says attacks on the offices of the electoral umpire are attacks on democracy but non-state actors can’t stop the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
He also said the electoral commission will reproduce all Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) burnt by hoodlums during attacks on its offices.
“I am very concerned about the attacks on INEC offices across the country particularly in the areas that have been identified,” Igini said on Channnels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
Attacks on INEC offices have surged in recent times with at least three incidents recorded only in November. 65,699 uncollected PVCs were destroyed by hoodlums who attacked two of its offices in Ogun and Osun states while several PVCs and other electoral items were also burnt during an attack in Ebonyi State.
However, Igini said INEC has the information of all PVCs at state and national offices and it won’t take it days to reproduce them.
“INEC has the capacity to respond to these challenges, particular in respect to the PVCs that have been burnt. INEC has the number of all the PVCs…It is a matter of days, INEC will produce those PVCs,” he said.
He urged Nigerians not to be discouraged but to ensure they get their PVCs and exercise their franchise in the next general election.
The former REC also decried the inability of security agencies to bring perpetrators of violent attacks on INEC offices to book.
“Why should extra-constitutional actors, why should non-legitimise actors continue to attack INEC. It is an attack on democracy. My pain is that we have not been able to track anybody.
“It is a big challenge to all security agencies in this country that for these years, we have been unable to track those who attack our democracy.
“Look at what happened in the US, all those who attacked the Capitol Hill have been brought to book everyday but here we are in a state of anomie,” Igini stated.
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2023: I’ve No Plans To Relocate FCT To Lagos, #ell NNPC To Friends, Tinubu Tells Atiku, Peter Obi
..Says He’s Destine To Succeed Buhari As President
Presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has dismissed rumours that he plans to relocate the nation’s Federal Capital Territory, FCT from Abuja to Lagos.
The APC candidate accused the opposition of launching a multi-pronged desperate campaign of falsehoods against him.
Tinubu, in a statement on Tuesday by the Director, Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council PCC, Mr Bayo Onanuga added that unlike the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Atiku Abubakar, he (Tinubu) does not intend to sell the Nigerian National Petroleum Company NNPC Limited to his friends.
According to him, the latest insidious campaign in some parts of the country against him is the handiwork of the PDP and Labour Party.
“After exhausting their arsenal of calumnies and character assassination against Tinubu, the opposition PDP and their surrogate Labour Party have begun a multi-pronged desperate campaign of falsehoods.
“In one of the falsehoods being circulated, especially in the North West of the country, Tinubu is said to harbour plans to relocate the Federal Capital from Abuja to Lagos on succeeding President Muhammad Buhari from 29th May, 2023”, he stated.
According to him, the misinformation campaign, according to field reports, is being given some traction by some elders on the payroll of the PDP.
“We are shocked that some people could contrive such egregious lie, all in the name of politics, with the intention to confuse our burgeoning support base in that part of the country.
“Let us say with emphasis, that Asiwaju does not contemplate any such plan and will not do anything that is so ultra-unconstitutional.
“The same purveyors of falsehood have also been distorting the commercialization of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited by the APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The truth is that President Buhari has not privatised NNPC as planned by the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. Buhari has instead made it a commercial entity, owned by all the tiers of government, in line with the Petroleum Industry Act”, he stated.
Tinubu noted that in due course, the company will be in a position to declare and share dividends to all its owners, the way Aramco of Saudi Arabia and Petrobas of Brazil do.
“As the destined successor of President Buhari, Asiwaju Tinubu will continue the policy of the Buhari administration. Unlike Atiku, Tinubu has no plan to sell NNPC to his friends or cronies”, he added.
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2023: APC, Tinubu Dodging ‘Woeful’ Performance, Claiming FG’s Projects In Lagos, Atiku Campaign Blows Hot
…Ex-Lagos Gov’s Attacks On Atiku Done To ‘Spice Up’ 2023 Campaigns, APC Reacts
The Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of shying away from its ‘woeful’ performances and campaigning with the Federal Government’s projects in Lagos State.
The APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu – a former governor of the ex-Nigerian capital – is campaigning on his records in Lagos which he says is a testament to what he can do if elected as the country’s leader next year.
But a spokesperson of the Council Charles Aniagwu has faulted the claims, accusing the ruling party of performing badly at the national level.
“The level of insecurity was democratised to the extent that every part of the country became a killing field. Those are the things APC can do. And because they don’t want us to talk about it, you can see how they always run away from their national and abysmal failure,” he said Monday while fielding questions on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“So, if he thinks that the federal roads that were built by the Federal Government from Ikeja through Anthony – of course having passed Maryland and then you pass through the Third Mainland Bridge completed by the Babangida administration to the Island – that those are the things they would be showing us, we would remind them that those things were there even before Tinubu became the governor of Lagos State.”
As far as he is concerned, “Since they (APC) have performed so woefully at the national level and they don’t want to stay with their records at the national level, we would accompany them on that train to Lagos so that we would discuss Lagos.”
He said the PDP administration established organisations such as the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), introduced some bank reforms, and gathered some of the best brains in the country to work for the government.
Meanwhile, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Ayo Oyalowo has downplayed recent attacks by the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu’s on his counterpart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
Tinubu, last Friday, mocked Atiku over the latter’s multiple attempts to occupy the number one political office in the country.
Atiku, aged 76, previously lost presidential bids in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019.
Oyalowo, who made a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, argued that Tinubu’s political jibes on Atiku were simply to “spice up” the 2023 campaign.
However, spokesperson for the PDP PCC, Charles Aniagwu, in his response, pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari had similarly contested for president four times prior to his win in 2015 via the newly amalgamated APC.
“Even Charles knows that he is just making a mountain out of a molehill. Normally, in political contests, there are necessary times you throw jibes,” Oyalowo said.
“We have seen about two, three times the two men have met at the airport on different trips and we’ve seen how convivial they were. So, the jibes are just necessary to spice up the contest.
“It is not the content; the content here is, what are we going to do that we believe Atiku cannot do? That is the issue here.”
The APC campaigner alleged that Atiku as Vice President under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, Federal Government-owned companies such as the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), and Nigeria Airways, were undervalued and sold in the government’s privatisation efforts.
But Aniagwu stated that while Atiku was in power, the PDP-led government established the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes Commission (ICPC).
“I would remind him (Oyalowo) that the PDP administration embarked on bank consolidation to the extent that today, when you put your funds in the bank, no matter what happens to that bank, your fund is safe,” the campaign spokesman said.
“I will also remind him about reforms in the pension sector. A number of times, they talk about money in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) as if that was the tree that grew in one forest.
“That money in the ECA was made possible because Obasanjo/Atiku administration was able to realise that we were getting some funds far in excess of what was budgeted, and rather than wasting it, we needed to save for a rainy day.”
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- 2023: We’ll Reproduce Burnt PVCs, Attacks Can’t Stop Elections, INEC Assures
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