The party in statement titled: “#EndSARS: Buhari’s Address Disconnected, Failed Empathy Test – PDP,” and signed by its National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, described the president’s long-awaited address on the protests rocking the nation, as disappointing and completely disconnected from the realities of the tragic occurrences in Nigeria in the last two weeks.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday night dismissed President Muhamadu Buhari’s address on the current unrest in the country as empty and devoid of empathy.
The president had said in his nationwide address that Nigerians mistook his administration’s swift disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) as a sign of weakness.
He added that the government’s action was twisted by some unnamed individuals for their selfish and unpatriotic interests.
President Buhari also counseled the youths to resist the temptation of being used by some “subversive elements” to cause chaos in the country.
However, PDP appealed to Nigerians, particularly the youths, to remain calm and allow a return to normal life in the overall interest of the country.
The statement read: “Mr. President’s address, in the face of the turmoil witnessed, the unrests as well as the killing of young Nigerians, is to say the least, depressing and failing in empathy test.
“Our party and, indeed, all lovers of peace in our country, were shocked that Mr. President glossed over the immediate trigger of violent protests – the widely condemned killing at the Lekki Toll Gate by security operatives, a situation which created a global concern and drew the attention of the world to the abuse of human rights going on in our country under his watch.
“Painfully too, Mr. President, as the Commander-in-Chief, was silent on the demand by Nigerians for enquires into the involvement of the military in the gruesome killing.
“Sadly, the long-awaited address failed to inspire any hope. It failed to address the trepidations, the pervading hopelessness, the drifting towards anarchy and provided no concrete steps on how to arrest the situation and rein in bandits, hoodlums and vandals that were let loose to unleash violence on peaceful protesters and innocent Nigerians.
“In short, from the letters of the address, there were no correlations between the fundamentals of the crisis situation that we have witnessed and the long-sought reaction of Mr. President.”
According to the opposition party, Nigerians had expected the president to provide the lead for the much-needed overhauling of the country’s security architecture to meet the demands of professionalism and respect for rules of engagement.
“Mr. President equally missed an opportunity to heal wounds and inspire hope by outlining a roadmap to open up the economy in a manner that will enable our teeming hard-working youths to pursue their productive goals as well as address the issue of pervading hunger in the land,” the statement added.