Awka – The candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in the November 6 Anambra governorship election, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, has insisted on his demand for the total abolition of what he called the ‘extortionist levies’ foisted on Anambrarians by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) administration.
Dr. Okonkwo, who disclosed this in a chat with TNC correspondent in Awka on Wednesday, claimed that the APGA administration had tried to hoodwink Anambra people by announcing a reduction as well as the suspension of an infinitesimal portion of the obnoxious levies, after he called out the government on the exploitation.
Last week, the state government through the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C-Don Adinuba, announced the said reductions, as part of efforts to cushion the effects of the bad economy on the people and check activities of revenue thiefs.
But the ZLP candidate who said he is totally opposed to any form of bullying and coercive foisting of high levies on commercial vehicle operators, okada riders, hawkers, cart pushers, artisans, market women, farmers and other hardworking citizens and residents, who are already bearing the brunt of economic hardship occasioned by the alleged misrule of Governor Willie Obiano and his administration.
“Such exploitative levies only point to APGA’s insensitivity to the plight of the people.
“APGA has since lost its essence and only exists for the personal enrichment of its leaders as most of the taxes and levies are not remitted to government coffers but end up in the pockets of APGA leaders and their cronies,” Okonkwo said.
According to the ZLP standard bearer, all people of goodwill should reject the announced suspension and reduction of some of the suppressive levies and instead, insist on a total review as well as outright cancellation of all levies foisted on less-privileged people, who should rather be assisted.
He accused APGA of using the suspension as a political card to curry the favour of the electorate to retain itself in power, after which it will return and even increase the obnoxious levies.
“More distressing is that the APGA candidate, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, is part of this unpardonable exploitative scheme against Ndi Anambra. The ZLP dares Soludo to speak out, if he is not part of this evil against the people. I maintain that the duty of government is ensuring the welfare of the people and not to impose hardship on them,” he said.
Dr. Okonkwo explained that he had consistently criticized the collection of such sundry taxes, because they do not get to government coffers, promising to end such tax regimes immediately he is elected and sworn in as governor, especially as such taxes can only impoverish the people and not build the Anambra of their dream.
“I have perfected a strategic economic development blueprint that will attract over $15bn on various investment windows to help rebuild Anambra and empower the people
“I urge Anambra electorate to rescue their state from the stranglehold of the APGA by resisting their shenanigans and coming out enmasse to vote for the ZLP, come November 6, 2021,” he pleaded.