Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday charged the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to resign immediately and apologise to Nigerians over his comment that the state of roads in the country is exaggerated.
The opposition party described the statement as unfortunate, especially coming from “ the Minister of Works, who ought to be apologetic for the decrepit state of roads across the country since the last four years he has been minister.”
The PDP added that “the statement is a violent assault on the sensibility of over 200 million Nigerians and further demonstrates the disdain with which the Buhari administration holds our citizens who lost their lives and many more who daily undergo mental and physical torture using our dilapidated roads.The PDP holds that the minister’s comment must be premeditated and reflects the official position of the Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, which has no regard for Nigerians and only thrives in propaganda and false claims to cover its failures in governance.
“Every Nigerian knows that most of the major roads across the country are in sorry state and that travelling on our roads has become traumatizing and one of the highest life threatening experiences in our country since the last four years. The comment by the failed minister of works is therefore highly provocative and capable of invoking the anger of Nigerians, because it shows that either he has not been going through our roads and as such not in touch with reality or he has exposed himself as falsehearted official.
“Our party is however not surprised at such comment from the minister because the Buhari administration, in which he serves, thrives only in propaganda, blame game, excuses and false performance claims because it has nothing to offer.”
Meanwhile, the party has also urged the National Assembly not to pass the Finance Bill, 2019, which is proposing the increase of Value Added Tax (VAT) from 5 to 7.5 percent. The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, urged the parliament to reject the bill which was sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhar, recently. The opposition party expressed concern that that the bill was hurriedly passed through second reading in the Senate even when the details were allegedly not made available to lawmakers. It said the failure to avail lawmakers details confirms its alleged “toxicity to the polity.”
According to the party, “Such planned increase in VAT is insensitive, suppressive and if anything, will further impoverish Nigerians and worsen the prevailing agonizing economic situation in the country.
“The National Assembly, as the true representatives of the people at the federal level, should therefore protect Nigerians by ensuring that such an anti-people policy does not receive a final legislative stamp.
“The PDP urges the National Assembly to task the Buhari Presidency to rather end its manifest profligacy and seek ways to galvanize the system for wealth creation instead of this suppressive resort to imposition of taxes on Nigerians.
“Accordingly, the National Assembly should task President Buhari to account for and recover the over N14 trillion oil money established to have been stolen under his watch in the last four years instead of punishing Nigerians with more taxes.