By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned in very strong and unequivocal terms the latest attempt by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rubbish efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in tackling the scourge of Covid-19 pandemic currently ravaging the world.
In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC said it is yet another infantile and desperate attempt by the opposition party to play petty politics with a serious matter of national and international importance.
It said the latest baseless accusation by the PDP that the APC-led government has not lived up to its responsibility of protecting the people of Kano State against the backdrop of some deaths recorded in the state is a case in point.
“This allegation is not only baseless, but very irresponsible. It is false in its entirety.
“Shockingly, while all well-meaning organisations, home and abroad, and individuals are putting in positive shifts to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has rather chosen to dance on the graves of the unfortunate Nigerians that have been killed by the disease.
“PDP has this rare opportunity to stand up to be counted by making positive contributions to end the scourge, but this opposition party thinks this is the time to politicise Coronavirus cases and deaths, particularly in Kano State.
“We invite the PDP to borrow a leaf from the patriotic efforts being made by the cross-party platform, the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), who has kept politics aside and joined the President Buhari government in jointly, proactively and frontally combating the pandemic which is currently a threat to our very existence. The PDP must understand that only the living can play politics.
“The APC would, once again, refresh the memory of the PDP, since the party appears irredeemably lost in its present, unenviable state of idleness and irrelevance.
“Weeks before the pandemic hit Nigeria, this administration had started taking practical steps in preparation for it.
“The PDP may claim to be unaware, but emergency operations centres have been established in states to serve as coordination platforms and are networked to a national incident coordination centre. Many states are now better equipped and prepared to coordinate within and across their borders in combating the coronavirus.
“From just about four testing laboratory centres, NCDC has 15 testing centres as at today with testing capacity increasing to over 3000 daily from just a few hundreds weeks ago.
“While it is clear that no single country, including the advanced nations, boasts adequate capacity to respond at once to this pandemic, and are all working hard to scale up capacity to contain the spread of Corvid-19 and in the same vein making efforts to find a cure for it, the APC-led government has not been found wanting in protecting the lives of all Nigerians, except for PDP that is incurably irrational.
“Nigeria has received commendations from bodies like the World Health Organisation (WHO), the European Union. The Presidents of West African countries under the aegis of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government have appointed President Muhammadu Buhari as Champion of the COVID-19 response. Our successes achieved so far in our Coronavirus response happened without the insidious prodding of the PDP.
“When the PDP held a rally in Oyo State in a most irresponsible manner and against public outcry, at a period the Corvid-19 cases had already been recorded in Nigeria, perhaps it was a deliberate effort by the opposition party to jeopardise the lives of the people of this country.
“It is not surprising that the Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, who was making a joke of the pandemic got no cautionary words from PDP. We may never know the damage caused by the ill-advised rally held by PDP in Oyo State. But it suits the opposition party to attack the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje to score cheap political points.
“To make the matter worse, quite unfortunately, the PDP is asking President Buhari to embark on a state visit to Kano. The opposition party believes that there should be a Presidential movement to anywhere in this country at this period, least of a densely populated city like Kano.
“Have they suddenly forgotten what it means to have the President visit Kano State at a period like this that requires social distancing and when much of the country is under a lockdown order?
“We urge the PDP to come clean on why it is asking the President to embark on a state visit now.
“Nigerians should ask PDP if it is praying that the whole of Kano and, indeed, Nigeria be swarming with Corvid-19 cases and corpses in order to fit into its known and unpatriotic wishes against our beloved country”, the statement said.