By Joshua Onoshoho
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) government to impose more hardship on Nigerians, through the re-introduction of toll gates on major highways, as a downright act of wickedness against the suffering masses.
The party in a statement on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan stressed that the move to return the toll gates is to allow APC stakeholders to further fleece already impoverished Nigerians. It described the plans as “offensive, vexatious, inflammatory and as such should not be contemplated under any guise whatsoever”.
The party invited Nigerians to recall that the PDP administration dismantled the toll gates 18 years ago in order to ease the burden on the people as well as end the corrupt regime of operators.
The PDP rejected the return of toll gates, saying that “it will add more economic burden on the people, lead to hike in transport fares, increase in the prices of goods and services as well as provide safe haven for corrupt APC leaders to extort money from innocent Nigerians.
“APC’s decision to impose levies on the highway, even after it had increased the pump price of fuel to an extortionate N165 per liter, further confirms that APC is a heartless party that is out to fleece and impose hardship on the people to benefit its leaders”.
The PDP observed that with the huge financial resources at the disposal of the APC, its government does not have any justification to impose an extra road tax, particularly in the face of the reckless and unbridled looting of national revenue by its leaders.
“This is especially as the APC and its administration have not been able to account for the over N1.4tr allocated for works in addition to over N120 billion collected from Nigerians as motor vehicle license in the last six years.
“Moreover, the Buhari Presidency has not taken any step to recover the over N25 trillion reportedly stolen by APC leaders in various revenue generating agencies including the NNPC, NEMA, NPA, FIRS, NIMASA, NDDC, NHIS among others, where culprits are merely “eased out” instead of being prosecuted”.
PDP maintained that Nigerians would not have been facing such exacerbated suffering but for APC’s corruption, incompetence, lethargic approach to governance and failure to adopt strategic way to harness and develop its abundant resources to the benefit of the citizens.
The PDP therefore cautioned APC leaders not to further push Nigerians to the wall by trying to fleece them with all manners of taxes and levies.