The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has accused Governor Ayodele Fayose of unleashing tax burdens on the poor, saying his policies contrasted what he promised the people during electioneering campaigns.
In a statement on Sunday, by its Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatubosun, the party noted that Fayose had turned Ekiti people to puns in political chess game, regretting that the people with prospects for successes in their callings had been turned into “babies without reason”.
“What we have experienced in the hands of Governor Ayodele Fayose is turning Ekiti people to babies without reason. He believes Ekiti people have no capacity for reasoning or that they have short memories and incapable of knowing their rights or that they can easily be incapacitated to insist on their rights.
“This we have seen in his reckless breaking of promises to the people in the last 10 months of his administration after running down his opponent’s life-lifting policies with the promise that Ekiti people’s lives would be better under his administration if voted into power,” Olatunbosun said.
He regretted that 10 months on, what Ekiti people saw was a reversal of fortunes under “an administration that has made deceits and lies as official policies of administration”.
He said: “Fayose promised market women freedom to ply their trades anywhere they wished, saying he would not bother them with taxes or running after them with the environmental task force to chase them away from their trading points. But today, Fayose is not only chasing them away from their trading points, he is also destroying their wares, including pepper and tomatoes, and also imposing unbearable taxes that the traders cannot afford if they are to make any profit in their trades while market women are also being dislodged from their stalls and heavy fees imposed on them to acquire stalls in the new market he is planning to build.
“How much does a poor pepper and tomatoes make that the governor is asking them to pay the magnitude of taxes he is imposing on them?
“As we speak, he is planning to force uniform to be supplied by the government on okada operators at a fee while also planning to be collecting taxes from the okada operators who he promised free reign during his campaigns, the same way he wants to be collecting tax on each cow slaughtered a day by butchers who cry out over low daily sales.
“Unfortunately, it is the children of these same poor people that Fayose has imposed education levies and examination fees in both primary and secondary schools on the excuse that it is those that don’t pay for their education that fail in their examinations and we wonder whether Yoruba people that didn’t pay for their education during Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s free education days didn’t pass their examinations or whether beneficiaries of that free education are now failures in their communities,” Olatunbosun said.
He added that Fayose’s callous and reckless breaking of promises to the people did not portray him as possessing the needed integrity to take Ekiti State to great heights.
He said: “Fayose, while vilifying Governor Kayode Fayemi for paying what he (Fayose) called a ‘pittance’ of N5,000 to Ekiti elderly people, promised during his campaigns to increase their monthly pay to N10,000 while also promising youths thousands of jobs and asked them to submit their application letters at his campaign office located in his Spotless Hotel.
“Today, Fayose has cancelled the social security scheme for the elderly outright and the poor elderly people that cherished Fayemi’s gesture to ensure their sustenance now live on charity and some in hopelessness.
“The application letters he asked the youth to write and submit at his campaign office are now common wrappers with groundnut sellers on the streets of Ado-Ekiti, thus creating double tragedy for Ekiti youths.
“For instance, the youth engaged in commercial agriculture production receiving sponsorship by Fayemi’s administration have been sent packing, same with thousands of youths in volunteer corps and hundreds of youths engaged in traffic management while youths entrepreneurial and apprenticeship scheme by Fayemi that could make youths employers of labour has also been cancelled by Fayose and in their place he introduced stomach infrastructure that gives a measure of rice and a three-month-old fowls to Ekiti people every Christmas,” Olatunbosun explained.
He added that Ekiti youths had returned to the streets after their shares in the stomach infrastructure at “ogogoro” joints from where they hit the streets to rob innocent people while Ekiti State had become the South West kidnapping capital.
He urged Ekiti people to remind the governor of his promises during campaigns and insist that he had responsibility to fulfil his campaign promises instead of imposing suffocating taxes on petty traders and creating conditions that would make life unbearable for them.