The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has lambasted the Governor Babatunde Fashola-led APC government of Lagos state for sealing off a property belonging to former Abia state governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu because he criticized the recent unlawful deportation of Nigerians from Lagos state.
The party, in a statement signed by its Acting National Publicity Secretary, Barr. Tony Caesar Okeke described the development as “reminiscent of the infamous decree No 4 of 1984 promulgated by maximum dictator and supreme leader of the APC, General Muhammadu Buhari, with which he clamped down on the freedom of speech and victimized anybody that criticized his government.”
The PDP noted that it is not surprised at the development describing it as a clear signal of the dictatorial and inhuman treatment to be expected from the government controlled by the APC.
It said “Fashola, a lawyer, has allowed his dalliance with dictators and bigots like his masters General Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to substantially impair his reasoning and actions.
“Instead of accepting that it erred in expelling innocent Nigerians in total breach of their constitutionally guaranteed right of residency in any part of the country, the APC-led government of Lagos state has ignobly resorted to clamping down on those who criticized its evil deed.
“We are indeed not surprised. After all, what would one expect from a government controlled by a party established by dictators with a penchant for unlawful actions and dehumanization of the citizenry?
“If the APC would approve the unjust detention and flushing of helpless citizens from a state where they have immensely contributed just to be dumped at a place like Upper Iweka Bridge at the dead of the night without any form of care, clamping down on its critics is only a signal of the draconian rule which Nigerians must rise against.
“Though Fashola was forced to release Orji Kalu’s property, the sealing of the property in the first place has only succeeded in betraying the reason for which the APC is desperate for power, which is to broaden the execution of the dictatorial, corrupt and oppressive agenda of its leaders.
“The APC leaders should borrow a leaf from President Goodluck Jonathan who as a true democrat and statesman has continued to maintain dignified calmness in the face of daily vituperations and unwarranted media attacks by the opposition”, the PDP said.
The party urged Nigerians to continue to note the despotic stance of the APC and ensure that the party is not allowed to be in control at any level come 2015.
However, the Lagos State government also said Kalu’s claim that his property had been sealed was misleading.”The fact is that Mr. Orji Uzor Kalu’s property in Park View Estate, Ikoyi was distrained pursuant to Section 40 of the Revenue Administration Law of Lagos State for failure to pay the statutory annual land use charge despite three separate notices delivered to the said property”Aderemi Ibirogba,commissioner for information and strategy said
He added ,”As a government driven by law and process, the Lagos State Government will ordinarily expect all law abiding residents to discharge their responsibilities to the state.
“If, in spite of failing to do so, Mr. Orji Uzor Kalu wants to give ethnic colouration to a routine performance of its duties by an agency of the state government, which in this case is the Land Use Charge Office, under the Ministry of Finance, he is welcome to do so.
The statement also emphasised that”when the issue was brought to the attention of the Governor, Tuesday evening, he directed the agency to unseal the property and that an additional 14 days grace period be given to Mr. Kalu to pay the said charge.
“It should be emphasised that notices like these are served on defaulting property owners on a regular basis who either comply or contact the Agency to raise any objections they might have to such notice. Mr. Orji Uzor Kalu, like every other citizen, must fulfil his obligation to the State.