The Ebonyi State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress has cautioned against the demand for payment of property tax during this period of lockdown, imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The party called on Governor David Umahi to relax the demand for payment of taxes at a time many families were going through economic and financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eze Nwachukwu, APC state Chairman, who made the call at a news briefing on Friday in Abakaliki, said it would further aggravate the hardship and suffering of the people.
According to Nwachukwu, demand for payment of tenement rate and ground rent by the Ebonyi State Government are signs 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 State was busy asking its residents to pay property and other taxes.
The party urged the state government to dole out its palliatives to cushion the hardship associated with the pandemic.
Nwwachukwu noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought social and economic lockdown that affected businesses and livelihood since March.
He noted that laws were made for man and only the living could be protected by the laws.
He added that enforcement of laws that would add more pains to the people would not be acceptable.
He said: “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 misery.
“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 Ebonyi Government should stop 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.
“We call on the Federal Government to intervene in the situation by calling on the state government to halt the enforcement of the payment of the taxes.”
The party chairman further called on the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to give more palliatives to people in Ebonyi State to cushion the hardship.