The African Democratic Congress (ADC) has called on all Nigerians, especially leaders of opposition parties to rally round President Muhammadu Buhari’s government in the struggle to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The party said Nigeria, like what happened in the thick of the Ebola emergency, had taken bold and calculated steps to ensure that the country “records very few casualties, though there are still wide gaps to be filled.”
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of ADC, Yemi Kolapo, however, noted that those in charge of the COVID-19 palliative strategy needed to do more research on how best to go as they were clearly doing more harm than good in that regard.
The party observed the Buhari’s first and second speeches on the pandemic were well put together and addressed the major areas if sound minds were to reason objectively, noting that the opposition should play responsible politics in these trying times.
The statement said: “Oppositions, the world over, are building bridges to save lives first, and leaving normal political tussles for normal days.
“When we argue, we must do so constructively, and ask: if we were confronted with a situation that had never happened before, with no certain solution, where a little error could cause the death of thousands of our dear people, how exactly would we handle it?”
According to the party, Nigerians should focus on letting the government know where exactly they are going wrong, “and this is clearly in the area of communication as regards palliatives and their distribution.”
ADC said: “There must be an algebra of distribution that sits well with every part of the country, and with the truly vulnerable in Nigeria.
“Just today (Tuesday, 14th 2020), the European Union announced a grant of €50million for Nigeria to help fight this dreaded disease.
“This is just a needle drop in the ocean of help that has come to Nigeria, from within and outside, to help confront this situation.
“As responsible citizens, we must open our eyes wide to follow the funds with the aim of demanding the very much needed accountability at this time.
“If we have put together a good banking network that works excellently with individuals’ Bank Verification Numbers, it should not be difficult to reach millions of the needy groups if Government truly wants to.
“The headache should be how to connect the over half of Nigerian adults, about 60 million people, said to be unbanked. And this is what a smart cabinet can do by thinking outside the box.”
The party noted that it was no news that the Buhari’s government was more at home with political chess rather than economic development, urging the President “to break the political brick walls and call for help where his government is clearly helpless.”
The statement added: “Another area we need to focus on is the fact that the Nigerian economy has not been handled well for many years now, not even the Buhari’s government has done so, and this big health disaster would naturally constitute another rude shock to the wobbly economic foundation.
“Africa, Europe, America are all already looking beyond this phase to prepare for the worst recession in decades.
“They have begun to harness their best brains all over the world to stay on the drawing board and map out confrontation and exit strategies that will help, post Covid-19.
“These are far more important things to ponder on than playing on the already stretched sentiments of Nigerians to win some form of cheap solidarity.
“The Peoples Democratic Party has pilot states that they can work on to show Nigerians how they would address the problem if they were to be at the center at this point in time.
”Let their governors lead the way. There is enough pain, hunger, fear in the land, right now. We must play responsible politics and leave unproductive altercations for another day.
“For ADC, our only project is Nigeria. And we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring we produce the right people to lead this country.”