The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to revert the Value Added Tax (VAT) to its original five percent.
Government had, in January, effected an upward review of VAT to 7.5 percent; a development the PDP said had forced multiple taxation on the Nigerian people and businesses.
Making the call during the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja on Thursday, the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said the nation’s was sliding into bankruptcy.
“Our country is in a very bad shape, the populace is groaning in pains and the government’s response is heaping of further pains on them. This country is sliding into bankruptcy.
“Amidst the frightening insecurity accompanied by mass killings that have set fears on the people, what you get from government is multiple tariffs, VAT etc and continued indulgence in lies and propaganda,” Secondus said.
Bemoaning the parlous security situation in the country, the party chairman said the country was at the crossroads, due to the poor handling of hydra headed security challenges.
The party chairman further stated that, “The security situation in the country has refused to abate and nothing concrete is being done by the government to ameliorate it and stop the senseless killing of innocent Nigerians.
“The truth about this country is that Nigerians don’t really know who is in charge. It appears that governance is in autopilot with government agencies in a free world harassing and intimidating perceived enemies”.
He deplored the refusal by President Buhari to overhaul the nation’s security architecture for greater efficiency, as demanded by the National Assembly a few weeks ago.
Describing the attitude of the federal government to the security challenges as insensitive to the plight of the people, Secondus said Nigerians have never been as afraid of their lives as they are at the moment. “It’s as bad as that”.
He said, “In the Northeast, the Boko Haram insurgency has returned fully and the President feels shocked that the sect still exists.
“We are already used to our President not knowing what is going on in the country even though as President the buck stops on his table.
“The President may have been deceived by the intelligence reports from his field men who continue to indulge in propaganda, claiming that the sect has been defeated even when the situation is worsening with banditry and kidnapping spreading all over the states.
“Nothing exposes the President’s insensitivity and distance from the reality and from the people like his shock that Boko haram still exists.
“But what do we expect when the President’s Chief of Staff is at loggerheads with the President’s number one aide. Your guess will be as good as mine on why this administration cannot move this nation forward”.
Describing the judiciary as a sacred institution, the party chair observed that the judiciary has been put under intense pressure by some unnamed agencies of government.
“These are big issues and concerns capable of demoralising us. But I urge all not to despair because God is not finished with this country and with faith in Him, we shall overcome”.
Secondus expressed hope on the party’s pending applications before the Supreme Court for a review of the Imo state governorship election.
According to him, the nation and the international community were anxiously waiting for the Supreme Court to do justice on the Imo case.
The chairman however, said the party would approach similar cases in respect of Osun and Kano states with absolute caution.
Also speaking at the meeting, the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state, assured that the Forum would continue to work in unity with the leadership of the party.
He charged the leadership of the PDP on transparency, particularly in processes leading to the selective of candidates for elective positions.
In a veiled reference to the backlash that led to the upturning of the electoral victories of some elected officials by the courts, Tambuwal called for inclusiveness in party activities.
“We shall be transparent and be accommodating and be free and fair in the conduct of the congresses. The world is watching us and expecting us to build on what we have started with our last convention in Port Harcourt.
“I assure you that we shall continue to have synergy with the NWC and we shall continue to work together to support our party that is waxing stronger every day”, the governor said.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said NEC approved a 14-man committee to review the party’s performance in the 2019 general elections across the zones.
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State was named the chairman of the committee, with Emmanuel Agbo as secretary.
Others include Yakubu Dogara and Alhassan Muhammadu (Northeast); Babangida Aliyu and Instifanus Gyang (North Central); Francis Nwaifuru and Austin Nnamani (Southeast); and Austin Opara and Stella Omu (South South).
The party has yet to pick members for the Southwest, saying that consultations among stakeholders were still ongoing.