The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun state has described as “foolhardiness”, the statement by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) concerning the request by Governor Dapo Abiodun for the approval of the Ogun state House of Assembly to engage a consultant for the collection of backlog of stamp duties owed the state by the Federal Government.
In a statement in Abeokuta on Wednesday, the Publicity Secretary of Ogun APC, Tunde Oladunjoye remarked that “the words of Suyog Potdar could best describe the pitiable situation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun state, after losing the last governorship elections, despite serious and unprecedented electoral, constitutional and financial infringements by it’s candidate, Mr. Ladi Adebutu.”
Oladunjoye said further in the statement: “The poet, Suyog Potdar, had posited that “when fools try to fool others, they actually manifest how foolish they are.”
In its wishy-washy statement on the request by Governor Dapo Abiodun to the Ogun State House of Assembly for approval to engage a consulting company for collection of backlog of stamp duties, the wobbling party really advertised its pitiable ignorance to the world!
“For the purpose of educating the PDP, AJAP is the Consultant engaged by the 36 states of the federation, including the PDP-controlled states, through the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to achieve a seamless and quick resolution of the refund of Stamp Duties and Excess Crude Account owed to the states by the Federal Government.
“A diligent check on the part of the fumbling PDP would have saved it from this national embarrassment arising from unpardonable naivety
“All the 36 States of the Federation filed a case in the Supreme Court seeking amongst other reliefs, the refund of all monies collected as stamp duties to State Governments from January 2015 to December 2022.
“According to the governors, the power to collect stamp duties belongs to the states, not the Federal Government.
“In January 2023, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, said the amount collected as stamp duty between 2016 and 2022 stands at N370,686,315,505.28.
“However, at a meeting held on March 30, the governors, under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), had resolved to settle the matter out of court to enable the States to access the backlog of unpaid stamp duties.
“Towards the amicable settlement, the NGF engaged the services of a consultant known as Ajap Financial Services Ltd. to facilitate payment to all states.
“It is on record that Prince Dapo Abiodun has continued to prioritise prompt payment of salaries and allowances and has increased payment of backlog of pensions and gratuities owed by previous administrations to N1 billion quarterly.
“The payment of stamp duty, from which our retirees could be taken care of is what the fragmented PDP is now against. It is indeed a big shame that a party that had dreamed of governing Ogun state, a state of many firsts, including education; could be so ignorant on simple matters that a tap on the internet would have resolved.
“Of course, the robust relationship between the different arms of government in Ogun state and the patriotic disposition of the Ogun State House of Assembly has continued to be a source of pain and envy for PDP unlike the era when the State House of Assembly was locked-up for more than 15 months in defiance of all men and women of reasons, including the National Assembly.
“The APC is aware that the Publicity Secretary of the PDP is merely appending his name to the press releases of the party, since the well-known yellow journalist and squirrel of a former governor has taken over, we urge the publicity secretary to save his name and whatever is left of his reputation by resigning from the position. This, in our opinion, is better than attaching his name to recent press statements being ridiculously churned out.”