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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has identified impunity as one of the biggest factors responsible for the spate of insecurity confronting the country.
Speaking at an interactive session which was held between the state government and corporate organisations in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, the Governor insisted that; ‘Part of the crises in this country today is because of impunity’.
‘We are talking about insecurity in this country today; what are those factors that have led to insecurity? One of such factors, as far as I am concerned, is impunity. Everybody wants to do whatever he wants to do regardless of the law. They don’t care.’
The Rivers State Government organised the event ahead of the September deadline for the implementation of the state’s Value Added Tax Law.
Governor Wike spoke further about the judgement of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt that paved the way for states to collect Value Added Tax (VAT), instead of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which had collected VAT over the years.
He accused the Federal Government agency of usurping the responsibilities of states by collecting VAT.
He also took a swipe at people in leadership positions that have refused to condemn and resist illegal practices over fear or bias.
‘We run a constitutional democracy; we don’t run a military government. Yes, our democracy may not be perfect, there are certain key elements – whether we like it or not – that for us to say we run a constitutional democracy, we must have to fulfil. One of those things is to obey and respect the rule of law,’ Governor Wike said.
‘It is only in this country that I have seen that an agency of the government can challenge the authority of a component unit of the federation. This country is a federal system made up of various component units of the Federal Government – the states and the local governments.
‘It is important that an agency of the government cannot dictate to a state government. If they will ever dictate, not a state like Rivers because we will not allow it.’
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK