From Obinna Odogwu and Aloysius Attah
Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), has criticised the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)-led government in Anambra State over what it tagged “suppressive levies” imposed on the poor residents of the state.
Governorship candidate of the party, Dr Obiora Okonkwo said the recent suspension of some of the levies by Governor Willie Obiano was politically motivated.
He demanded that all the “suppressive levies” imposed on Ndi Anambra by the APGA government should be stopped forthwith, adding that it was insensitive of the governor to have imposed all manner of levies on the residents regardless of the tough economic situation of the country.
Publicity Secretary of ZLP Campaign Council, Afam Dozie Ofomata, in a statement, made it clear that the party and its governorship candidate would not accept anything other than “a total abolition of all extortionist levies foisted on Ndi Anambra by the suppressive and corrupt APGA administration.”
He said: “Dr. Okonkwo, the champion of the people, notes with dismay the shenanigan by the APGA administration to hoodwink Ndi Anambra 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.
“Our candidate vehemently abhors the strong arm, 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 misrule of Governor Obian.
“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.
“Our candidate therefore rejects the announced suspension and reduction of some of the suppressive levies and insists on a total review as well as outright cancellation of all levies foisted on less-privileged people, who should rather be assisted.
“Moreover, we are aware that APGA is 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.
“Our candidate, Dr. Okonkwo insists that the duty of government is ensuring the welfare of the people and not to impose hardship on them.
“He had consistently criticized the collection of such sundry taxes, especially as they do not get to government coffers. He has always insisted on ending 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.
“Already, Okonkwo has perfected a strategic economic development blueprint that will attract over $15bn on various investment windows to help rebuild Anambra and empower the people
“The ZLP therefore urges Ndi Anambra to rescue their state from the stranglehold of the APGA by resisting their shenanigans and coming out enmasse to votefor their standard bearer, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo on the platform of the ZLP, come November 6, 2021”, the statement read.
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