Enugu Labour Party and its Criminal Abetment of Tax Evasion

By Nwomaga Nwedo

Tax is one of the sources of revenue to governments all over the world. It is a civic obligation every citizen within the demographic provision of tax law must observe, especially when they engage in economic activities by means of which they eke a living.

When the question of tax was raised before Jesus Christ, He, as God, sanctioned it, and duly paid his tax to the government of Caeser, the ruler of the Roman Empire during the days of Christ. He answered his disciples, who wanted to know whether it was right to pay tax, in proverbial terms, saying that they should give to Caeser what was Caeser’s and to God what was God’s.

In the precolonial days, taxes were also imposed by the authorities superintending public affairs,especially in the organised monarchies of the Caliphate and the other empires like Oyo and Benin empires. Even in the republican Igbo land, taxes were also imposed on adults,as such revenue realized from taxes were used to solve communal challenges as well as build projects that benefitted the people. As a matter of fact, these taxes still obtain in our villages to date.

So, what is this hulabalo about taxes in Enugu State, which the lousy opposition of the Labour Party disrepute masterminds? Assuming the Labour Party won the governorship in Enugu State (God forbid!), would the governor have waved taxes for the citizens? Incidentally, the governorship candidate of Labour Party, rejected at the polls by the people of Enugu State and beaten from the tribunal to the Supreme Court, had no manifesto. He had no clue what governance entailed and practically groped in the dark all through the electioneering process.

His Abia State counterpart, Dr Alex Otti, like Mbah of the PDP, had a 42-page manifesto that contained his governance objectives. While Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, endorsed Otti, he practically rejected the Labour Party candidate in Enugu State and gave a tacit nod to the candidacy of Mbah whose governorship objectives, blueprints and financial models for astronomical growth of the Enugu economy were clearly fleshed out in his manifesto.

Since Mbah and Otti came to power, both have done well as they fulfil their campaign promises to their states. Mbah and Otti are a reference standard points of good governance. Both are experts in economic management and development, having demonstrated knowledge, competence, and capacity in the art of leadership and management of state resources.

It is,therefore, funny and childish of the Enugu Labour Party and their media goons to try to pit Mbah against Otti by way of drawing unnecessary comparison between the two leaders They now ridiculously claim ownership of Otti, and the inept and defeated Enugu Labour Party governorship candidate is doing everything to identify with Otti, the same way he had tried to ride on Obi’s back during the electioneering process, if not that Obi distanced himself from him. A typical example was the show of shame during Nnia Nwodo’s birthday, where the said candidate was shown on video scrambling to take pictures with Obi. While he did that, Obi tried to wriggle himself away from his grip around his waist; yet, he would grab Obi tight, shouting, “candidates! Candidates!

Now, it is this fellow who instigates the unnecessary fuss over taxes in the state, manipulating the emotions of the people leveraging the state of the nation’s economy as an alibi for tax evasion. What is his drive? To continue to perpetuate the people of Enugu under penury by denying the government access to the funds with which to alleviate poverty to zero per cent headcount index as Mbah proposes to do? What kind of wickedness is this? Must they play politics with the economic life of the people? The idea is to give the Mbah administration a bad name and diminish his towering fame and the legitimacy the people bestowed on the administration. That way, the way is prepared for them to take over in 2027. Isn’t that childish?

The fact is that tax is a legitimate obligation of the citizenry. The people have no right to ask for basic amenities if they do not fulfil their side of the social contract by paying their taxes. Before now, revenue leakages were rife in the state. Many taxable heads did pay no taxes. At various markets, traders smiled to the banks with huge profits without paying the required taxes. Even malls that collected taxes on behalf of the government would not remit them to the government. They would fraudulently pocket them. This was the case with such shopping malls as Shoprite, Spar, and so on. Most of these concerns charge high fees but would not remit the needed taxes to the government. Traders at Ogbete, Ogige Nsukka, Orie Orba, New Market, and others reap off the people with high prices and huge profits, yet they would not pay taxes to the government. A situation where a cement seller can not pay N70 to the government; whereas, he charges as much as N15 000 for a 50kg bag of cement is fraught with serious economic sabotage.

Why should such fraudulent malls and shops on the infamous habit of tax evasion and defalcation not be sealed? Sealing is even mild. The operators should be arrested and prosecuted for economic crimes. It is such fraud that Enugu Labour Party aid and abet in the name of opposition politics. It is criminal of the Enugu Labour Party and their effete media urchin to try to manipulate the emotions of the people over tax obligations. One is not surprised because the Enugu Labour Party is peopled by criminals, ne’er-do-well cheats, and political rascals with no regard for due process of getting things done. They are a bunch of desperate scoundrels, odious vermins nature ever suffered to crawl upon the political surface. These folks, some of whom had lived abroad, know the implication of tax evasion in, say, the UK and America. They would, with alacrity, pay taxes over there, but in Nigeria and Enugu State, they would encourage tax evasion with silly sentiments.

The people of Enugu State are not deceived. They know full well that Mbah did not increase the tax rate. They understand that what the Mbah Administration has done is seal all crevices to tax evasion, thereby frustrating attempts to fritter away acruable revenues to the state government with which the administration works in terms of the infrastructural provision Governor Mbah has unleashed on the state.

Tax evasion is a sin before God and man. It is an act of economic sabotage sharing a border with crime. No one should allow themselves to be deceived by the criminal elements that people the said Enugu Labour Party and their media miscreants like Enugu Monitor, one Aniebolam Nwamu, the pseudo, Cyril Ujam, and the other urchins grovelling and foolishly pontificating on social media platforms.

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