By Dirisu Yakubu
The main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has vowed to hold the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government accountable for the €50 million (N21 billion) donated to the country by the European Union, EU, to control the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Deputy national publicity secretary of the party, Diran Odeyemi stated this yesterday in a chat with our correspondent in Abuja.
According to Odeyemi, there is a growing fear that the good gesture by the EU would fail to make the expected impact because “this government has demonstrated a clear lack of capacity to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He continued: “We shall hold them to account on behalf of millions of Nigerians. So those who are already smiling to the bank should realise that a day of reckoning awaits them.
“We as a party, are not only afraid that this N21 billion would be misappropriated, we are also worried that so far, Nigerians are yet to be told how the billions of naira donated by well-meaning citizens of this country have been spent.
“How have they handled the welfare of those asked to stay at home who are not salary earners? Monies keep coming in but what are they doing in terms of accounting to the people whose well being was what informed the donation in the first place?” he asked.
While commending the EU for the kind gesture, the PDP stalwart counselled government officials to put the interest of the people first, stressing that the dreaded virus is not an opportunity to make money.
“The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and their officials should take a clue from the developed world in the way they are handling the global pandemic. It is wrong to use this crisis as a business concern for easy money-making,” he added.
On the handling of palliatives, Odeyemi said apprehension on the part of Nigerians across the country is a pointer to government that more needs to be done even as he questioned the criteria for identifying “the poorest of the poor.”
According to him, “Nigerians barely managed to stay indoors for two weeks. Even at that, some came out in defiance of the stay at home directive because they could no longer bear it.
“Don’t get me wrong. We all must stay indoors for now but the palliatives they are dishing out have not reached anywhere. Let’s see if they will do something different this time.”