The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says no amount of threats, harassment and attempts to intimidate its members and supporters by compromised security agents would deter it from standing together in victory, with the people of Kogi State in the November 16 Governorship election.
A statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, said that, “The people of Kogi State have already made up their minds to vote out the All Progressives Congress (APC), which has only brought excruciating poverty, deprivation, suicide, wanton looting, impunity and total disregard to the wellbeing of citizens; and nothing can detract from the people’s resolve to free their state from the oppressive clutches of the APC.
“The PDP alerts Nigerians on how gunmen dressed in military uniform have been invading homes of PDP members including the Chairman of Okene LGA chapter of the party, Musa Adelabu, who the gunmen abducted to an unknown destination”.
According to him, “Only three days ago, another vocal member of the PDP in Kogi State, Abdlu-salam Kunaye, was picked up in a similar manner.
“The PDP has information that the assailants were sponsored and detailed by desperate elements in APC that have become frenetic over the overwhelming rejection of their party in Kogi State.
“The APC is aware that it has already lost grounds in Kogi State, following its woeful performance in the last four years under the out-going Governor Yahaya Bello, and as such, it is seeking ways to muscle its way by manipulations, harassment, coercing and bullying, which will be resolutely resisted by the people of Kogi State.
“Our party has also been made aware of how a long list of Kogi citizens and PDP supporters has been submitted to certain compromised security agents and urges the Police and military high command to take steps to curb the situation.
“The PDP, in unequivocal terms, states that it stands with the people of Kogi State in firm resistance to any heinous plot by the APC to prevent the people from voting them out in November.
“Our party, therefore, demands the immediate release of our Okene LGA chairman and all those abducted, as their incarceration is already raising tension capable of sparking serious consequences.
“The people of Kogi State are looking up to the PDP to rescue the state from tyranny and nothing can stop them from achieving their resolve of voting in the PDP, which is their party of choice, in the November 16 governorship election”.
The party promised to stand together in victory with the people of the state.
Buhari’s COS Queries FIRS Chairman Over Worsening Tax Collection
Indications emerged yesterday that the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Abba Kyari, has queried the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr, Babatunde Fowler, over alleged discrepancies in tax collections from 2015 to 2018.
A letter dated August 8, 2019, and addressed to the FIRS chairman, which was signed by Kyari, asked Fowler to explain reasons for ‘significant’ variances in budgeted collections and actual collections of tax in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
In the concerned years, the actual amount collected as tax fell below the budgeted target.
In 2015, actual collection was N3.7tn, while the budgeted target was N4.5tn.
A similar shortfall occurred in 2016, when actual collection was N3.307tn, less than the N4.95tn budgeted target.
Also, in 2017, the FIRS collected a total of N4.027tn, less than the set target of N4.89tn.
NCP Charges FG On Minimum Wage
The National Conscience Party (NCP) has urged the Federal Government to do its best to speedily resolve all issues delaying the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage.
The Lagos State Chairman of the party, Mr Fatai Ibuowo, gave the advice in an interview with The Tide’s in Lagos, yesterday.
He said workers had endured enough hardship owing to the prevailing economic realities, saying that implementation of the new minimum wage would give them some succour.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government to do its best to implement the N30,000 minimum wage.
“Nigerian workers have faced a lot of hardship because of high costs of goods and services and so cannot wait to be paid the new wage.
“We are aware that there are issues between labour and government on what to pay as increment to those on certain levels,’’ Ibuowo said.
According to him, we must emphasise that all categories of workers deserve substantial wage increments in view of the present economic realities.
Ibuowo implored the government to arrive at a middle ground with labour and speedily implement the Minimum Wage Act, signed in April to better the lots of workers.
He noted that in a country where lawmakers earned what he called “astronomically-high wages and allowances’’, it was unfair not to pay workers a living wage.
The NCP chairman pointed out that the new N30,000 minimum wage, though better than the earlier N18,000, was still one of the lowest in the world .
Ibuowo said insecurity and corruption were major problems in the country, saying the issues could be addressed through improvement in workers’ welfare.
“Insecurity and corruption are two of the major problems facing our country now and we think by improving the welfare of workers, we can substantially address the problem.
EFCC Probes FIRS Staff Over N1.2bn Fraud
As part of its investiga
tion into the N1.2billion duty tour allowance fraud in the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has commenced a forensic analysis of the bank accounts of the staff members.
The Tide’s source gathered that EFCC detectives had obtained details of the bank accounts of FIRS staff and were carrying out a painstaking forensic investigation into “the financial inflows and outflows” in the various accounts in different commercial banks.
It was gathered that the aim of the detectives was to know the depth of the malfeasance perpetrated by the top echelons of the revenue agency in the last four years.
The commission, in April, 2019, recovered part of the DTA allowance from the beneficiaries who refunded millions of naira.
Following the development, the commission widened its investigation into the contracts awarded by the agency since the FIRS Chairman, Babatunde Fowler, assumed office in 2015.
Our correspondent had reported how Fowler attempted to influence the acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, to drop the ongoing investigation into the sleaze in the FIRS, but the anti-graft agency boss resisted the pressure.
The commission subsequently mobilised different teams to investigate the contract awards and estacode payment for foreign trips by the FIRS management.
Head of the FIRS Coordinator Support Services Group, Peter Hena, who allegedly authorised the illegal payment had reportedly made revealing statements during investigation about how the DTA fraud was perpetrated.
The FIRS Director of Finance, Mr Mohammed Auta, had similarly informed detectives that he acted on the instructions of Hena to disburse the fund.
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