The Ebonyi chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has cautioned against demand for payment of property taxes at a time many families were going through economic and financial turmoils due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The party therefore called on Gov. Dave Umahi to relax the demand for payment of taxes that would further aggravate the hardship and suffering of the people.
Mr Eze Nwachukwu, APC state chairman made the call at a news briefing on Friday in Abakaliki saying that demand for payment of tenement rate and ground rent by Ebonyi government was a sign of insensitivity to the plight of the citizens.
He said that while states, countries and big business corporations were supporting their people, citizens, and workers to overcome the economic burden imposed on them due to the pandemic, Ebonyi was busy asking its residents to pay property taxes.
The party lamented that the state government was yet to dole out any form of palliatives to the people since the pandemic that brought social and economic lockdown that affected from their businesses and livelihood since March.
He said that laws were made for man and that only the living could be protected by those laws adding that enforcement of laws that would add more pains to the people would not be acceptable.
“What the people of Ebonyi need at this point is a life-line; what will make them to survive the pandemic and not what will add to their pains and miseey.
“The state has yet to distribute palliatives to the people even when the Federal Government has assisted by donating thousands of bags of rice to the state to cushion the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
“The FG in a bid to reduce the impact of the virus on the citizens, reduced the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
“But, here in Ebonyi instead of palliatives, what the government is doing was going round pasting ‘demand notices’ on people’s walls asking them to go and regularise their land documents, pay tenement rates and ground rents or risk their buildings being sealed.
“We as a party condemn in the strongest terms this action and urge government to shun all acts that will cause the people more pains and suffering.
“APC stands with the suffering masses of the state and however, wish to appeal to them to adhere to government’s approved precautionary prescriptions to stay safe from contracting the dreaded virus.
“We call President Muhammadu Buhari and the FG to intervene in the situation by calling the state government to halt the enforcement of the property tax,” Nwachukwu said.
The party chairman further called on the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to come to the rescue of people of Ebonyi afflicted by severe hunger and starvation due to lack of food and palliatives to cushion the hardship.