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Stakeholders Vow to Resist Okorocha’s New N3,000 Levy on Taxable Adults

From Ignatius Okpara

IMO, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) Major Stakeholders in Imo State, South East Nigeria, including politicians, have vowed to resist the N3000 levy being imposed on every taxable adult in the state by the Governor Rochas Okorocha-led administration.

The Governor is being accused of attempting to extort the 637 autonomous communities in the state via the illegal levy.

Okorocha had recently ordered traditional rulers in the state  to raise the sum of N6 million each by levying all taxable adults N3000, saying the levy was part of the citizens  counterpart fund for the industrialization of the state.

The stakeholders are however asking the Governor to account for all the monies that have accrued to the state in the last seven years he had taken over the mantle of leadership of Imo.

They also alleged that Governor Okorocha wanted to use the funds to finance the election campaign of his son – in – law Mr. Uche Nwosu in 2019.

Commissioner for Community Government, Culture and Traditional Affairs, Louis Duru had last month, asked the traditional rulers in all the 637 autonomous to enforce the state Governor’s decision that all communities in the state should raise the sum of N6m by ensuring that all taxable adults pay the levy of N3,000 each.

Reacting to the development, Tuesday in Owerri the State capital, the President of Olu Owerri, a socio-cultural body, Chief Martins Opara alleged that it was part of the ploy by Governor Okorocha to raise money for the gubernatorial campaigns of his son- in –law and urged the communities not to pay the money.

He noted that the threat of merging defaulting communities together by the state Governor was a demonstration of his commitment to cause chaos and destabilize the people and their peaceful communities to enable him rig the 2019 elections unchallenged.

“The communities should demand accountability from a government that has received over N1tr from Federal allocations, Paris club refunds, IGR, local government allocations, 13 percent derivations as oil producing state in the past seven years, because paying any money to Imo government when our Local Government system, roads, hospitals, schools and security was abandoned while monies meant for them not accounted for.

“It is regrettable that the same government that demolished Imo markets and mechanic villages, banned tricycle (keke) operation, demolished people’s’ houses without compensation, owing pensioners, sacked 10,000 youths and lately, sacked over 2,000 Local Government workers, will come around and demand individuals to pay N3000 to him, I wonder where he expects these traumatized citizens to bring the money from”.

Also reacting, a former member of the House of Representatives from the state, Hon. Uche Onyeaguocha, called on the people of the state not to succumb to blackmail.

A statement by his media aide, Mr. MacDonald Enwerem reads, thus:  “This cheap blackmail to Autonomous Communities is unacceptable and highly condemnable.

“However we do not expect less from an anti-people administration, accordingly, we advise all autonomous communities, their Ezes and Leaders to refrain from allowing their people from being duped. This attempt at extorting with official threat should be discountenanced”.

 

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