The Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) has slammed the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)-led government in Anambra State for imposing “suppressive taxes” on the state’s poor.
Dr Obiora Okonkwo, the party’s governorship candidate, said Governor Willie Obiano’s recent suspension of several taxes was politically motivated.
He requested that the “suppressive levies” put on Ndi Anambra by the APGA government be immediately lifted, adding that the governor had been callous in imposing various fees on the citizens despite the country’s dire economic circumstances.
In a statement, Afam Dozie Ofomata, the ZLP Campaign Council’s Publicity Secretary, stated that the party and its governorship candidate will not accept anything less than “complete repeal of all extortionist taxes forced on Ndi Anambra by the oppressive and corrupt APGA regime.”
“Dr. Okonkwo, the people’s advocate, notes with dismay the shenanigan by the APGA administration to dupe Ndi Anambra by announcing a decrease and suspension of an infinitesimal percentage of the obnoxious levies after he called out the government on its exploitation,” he stated.
“Our candidate vehemently opposes the use of the strong arm, bullying, and coercion to impose high levies on commercial vehicle operators, Okada riders, hawkers, cart pushers, artisans, market women, farmers, and other hardworking citizens and residents who are already suffering from Governor Obian’s misrule.
“Such extortionate fees only demonstrate APGA’s insensitivity to the people’s predicament.
“APGA has subsequently lost its purpose and now operates solely to profit its leaders, as the majority of taxes and levies are not submitted to government coffers but instead end up in the pockets of APGA leaders and their friends.
“As a result, our candidacy rejects the promised suspension and reduction of part of the oppressive charges, insisting on a comprehensive assessment and full cancellation of all levies imposed on the less fortunate, who should instead be aided.
“In addition, we are aware that the APGA is using the suspension as a political card to court favor with the electorate in order to keep power, after which it will return and further increase the onerous charges.
“What’s more upsetting is that Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, the APGA candidate, is complicit in this heinous exploitative plan against Ndi Anambra. If Soludo is not a part of this crime against the people, the ZLP dares him to speak up.
“Our candidate, Dr. Okonkwo, argues that government’s responsibility is to ensure the welfare of the people, not to put them through suffering.
“He has often chastised the collection of such ad hoc levies, particularly when they do not reach government coffers. He has always insisted on putting an end to such tax regimes as soon as he is elected and sworn in as governor, arguing that such levies merely impoverish the people rather than help them construct the Anambra of their dreams.
“Okonkwo has already perfected a comprehensive economic development model that will attract over $15 billion in investment across many investment windows to help restore Anambra and empower its people.
“The ZLP thus invites Ndi Anambra to free their state from the grip of the APGA by standing up to their antics and voting en masse for their standard bearer, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, on the ZLP platform on November 6, 2021,” the statement said.