NIGERIA’S main opposition the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the country to hold President Muhammadu Buhari responsible if the team of Chinese medical experts who recently arrived in the country make the situation worse.
Yesterday, a 15-man team of Chinese medical experts arrived in Nigeria with some equipment that included 16-tonnes of test kits, ventilators, disinfection machines, disposable medical masks, N95 masks, medicines, rubber gloves, protective gowns, goggles, face shields and infra-red thermometers. However, their arrival has not been universally popular, especially among medical professionals who say they were not consulted.
Some public commentators have even expressed fears that the Chinese team may make the situation in the country worse, given that across Nigeria, only 276 people have contracted the virus, of which six have unfortunately died. Adding its voice to those opposing the arrival of the medical team, the PDP said President Buhari must be held responsible if there is an upsurge in the rate of infections and deaths following the arrival of the Chinese team.
PDP publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said, “The Peoples Democratic Party has charged Nigerians to hold President Muhammadu Buhari responsible should there be any upsurge in the rate of Covid-19 infection and death in our country following the importation of doctors from China, the epicentre of the scourge, by the Buhari-led federal government. The PDP is alarmed that President Buhari ignored the protests by Nigerians and professional bodies including the Nigerian Medical Association and allowed the importation of the Chinese doctors despite warnings that bringing in doctors from the hotbed of the plague will expose our citizens to further risks.”
“This is even as Nigerians across board have continued to question the status, identity and interest of the Chinese doctors as well as the safety of kits and equipment from China, particularly following scary reports of escalation of the scourge in certain countries reportedly after the arrival of Chinese medical personnel in those countries. Moreover, our doctors and nurses have been on top of the situation with records of recoveries and less casualties, thus raising questions about the real intentions of bringing in doctors from China.”
He added that the situation is even more distressing as the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 had been making frantic efforts to exonerate itself from the decision to bring in the Chinese doctors. Mr Ologbondiyan said the PDP wants President Buhari to note that Nigerians already know the pace, intensity and trajectory of Covid-19 statistics at the time the federal government gave passage to these Chinese doctors.
Mr Ologbondiyan stressed: “Nigerians are aware that since the index case was reported till date, our nation’s Covid-19 data stands at 254 confirmed cases, out of which 44 have been successfully treated by our doctors with six deaths, which reportedly had other underlining ailments.”
He called on the entire world to hold President Buhari responsible should there be any sudden upsurge in Covid-19 infections and deaths in the country, now that the Chinese doctors have been brought in despite protests by Nigerians. In addition, the PDP charged Nigerians to be extra vigilant at the time and demanded that the Presidential Task Force outlines the states and local governments where the Chinese doctors are expected to operate, to enable Nigerians monitor their activities as well as the aftermath of such activities.