Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has given the federal government 48-hour to declare the whereabouts of the Chinese medical team it brought into the country to assist in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
The party said the ultimatum was predicated on the shocking declaration by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, that he could not account for the whereabouts of the Chinese team, who were brought into the country from the epicentre of the pandemic, despite repeated warnings and disapprovals by Nigerian medical experts and professional bodies.
PDP, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, noted that the Minister’s statement had heightened apprehensions that the Chinese team, whose identity and activities had been shrouded in secrecy, might have been brought in by a certain cabal for another purpose outside the general public good.
The party described as suspicious, creepy and weird, the fact that the Minister, who had repeatedly assured that the Chinese were brought to render medical services and trainings, and even went personally to receive them at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, on April 8, 2020, in an elaborately publicised event, could no longer account for the team.
PDP recalled how officials of the APC administration strongly defended the invitation of the Chinese team and offered them full state protocol on arrival, only to now turn around to disclaim the supposed experts, deny any involvement with them and even forbid Nigerians from enquiring about their whereabouts.
It maintained that government’s inability to account for the Chinese team amounted to direct betrayal of public trust, which had heightened fears of conspiracies by certain unpatriotic interests in the APC and its administration to compromise the health architecture of the nation and expose the citizens to danger.
The party reminded Nigerians how the federal government had failed to respond to demands by it and well-meaning Nigerians for the particulars of members of the team, their medical status, scope of operation, detailed itinerary within the country and the safety of the equipment they came with.
PDP said it had expressed worry over scary reports of escalation of the scourge in certain countries reportedly after the arrival of Chinese medical personnel in those countries and insisted that the APC administration should be held responsible should there be any sudden upsurge in COVID-19 infection and deaths in Nigeria, with the arrival of the said Chinese medical team.
The main opposition party called on Nigerians to note that whereas the nation’s COVID-19 data, upon the arrival of the Chinese team in April, stood at 254 confirmed cases with 44 successfully treated by Nigerian doctors and six deaths, which reportedly had other underlining ailments, the current figures of confirmed cases and deaths were alarming even with the presence of the so called Chinese experts.
PDP, however, urged Nigerians to remain vigilant while intensifying personal and public health safety strategies at this critical time in history.