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No, Mr. President, There Is No Going Back on VAT, Let The Mud Fight Begin – WIKE

WIKE AND THE VAT LAW – “You grow the kola, we eat it”

For more than half a century, since July 29 1967 to be exact, the North has gotten whatever it wants from Nigeria through brigandage, force of arms or outright murder of Southern loudmouths and adventurers.

A war over consumption tax that has the potential to shake Nigeria to the ground is raging across the land. This simmering war has the unspoken capacity to liberate Nigeria from the stranglehold of a grasping Federal Government or otherwise break the nation altogether.
The VAT war unleashed by the indomitable Barrister Ezenwon Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State, who looks more like a street brawler than the fine attorney that he is, can potentially rejig Nigeria to what everybody wants or we all end up in a sinkhole which nobody wants.

Governor Wike in true rage for his peoples’ inability to enjoy the tax benefits due to them by law, has gone to and won in court, the true interpretation of the constitution to determine between the Federal and state Government who has the legal authority to collect Value Added Tax (VAT).
Tax collection duties is so basic to democratic nations that such matters are at the forefront of discussion and settled at the inception of every modern nation. But the Federal Government of Nigeria has been so determined to seize every known source of revenue for itself.

In its skewed paternalism and unjust undertakings for the benefit of the northern section of the country, the Federal Government has done everything, including the use of the forces of violence and coercion to seize southern wealth for northern benefit.
Justice Stephen Pam of the Federal High Court Port Harcourt has interpreted the 1999 constitution to say that since the collection of VAT is not in the exclusive legislative list of the extant 1999 constitution, it remains the duty and the legal right of the states to legislate on and enforce its collection within their jurisdiction. The exclusive legislative list is a list of projects and issues only the Federal can make laws on. VAT is not on that list.

Now, no one expects the matter to be open and closed so easily and finally. No, not in a country where the entire elite system depend on Government revenue for survival in sleaze and brazen theft.
(* Some or most of the southern politicians are also guilty and are collaborative tools in the hands of the North.)

Again, not in a country where the entire northern half depends on and survive on the unjust transfer of income generated from the other southern half.
We are a people without economic imagination or financial smartness. So we plod on, waiting for “financial breakthroughs” as prayed for by our pastors or for OPEC to increase the price of crude oil so we can buy the next SUV or move the next cache of stolen funds to Zurich or wherever.
The North boasts of its falsified population power that is not founded on any economic strengths. Where else does such phantom power work except in Nigeria and among an abused and maligned people?

In truth, the North boasts of it’s inherent ability to thrive in its backwardness over the hardworking south. “You grow the kola, we eat it”.
Someone remarked that the victory for true federalism begins with the expected triumph of Nyesom Wike over the VAT war. My response has been, not so fast. The North will fight on this one as it has never fought before. Its very survival as a region and as a people depends on free money from the South.
Northern Nigeria will not be shamed into abandoning that obsession nor will it submit to any law that forces it to give up on dependence on Southern wealth. Anyone expecting the North to give up on all its free loadings on the south will need a new head screwed on the neck.
For more than half a century, since July 29 1967 to be exact, the North has gotten whatever it wants from Nigeria through brigandage, force of arms or outright murder of Southern loudmouths and adventurers.
It wiped out the entire Igbo Officer Corps in the armed Forces in July 1967, murdered Shittu Alao in the Air force in 1969, enacted a violent law that seized Southern Niger Delta oil wealth in 1969, wiped out the rump of the Middle Belt Military Officer Corps in the Bukar Dimka Coup in 1976, carried out a coup to prevent a southern person from inheriting the presidency from Shehu Shagari in 1983, killed Dele Giwa by letter bomb, set up and cancelled many political programs that could benefit the south, annulled a presidential election won by MKO Abiola, a Southerner, killed Kenule Saro-Wiwa in 1997, staged a coup against Goodluck Jonathan (yes, that’s what it was). For all of these evil, there was no organised response from the South.
(*NB: 1. Ogundipe managed to escape death. The author must acknowledge the response to June 12 by OPC, NLC, NADECO etc; -ditto- The Political naivity, greed and the evil intrigues of southern politicians.)

All of these were done for the money of the South and the South watched helplessly as the best from among its people were killed and the regions money taken by force. How now does the South prevent the North from “overrunning” the law and winning the VAT war in 2021?
The North will mobilize its judges on the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court for a regional coalition on this cataclysmic war. And make no mistake, the gang-up will include the Christian Middle Belt who have nothing to gain from the victory of Wike, Rivers and Lagos states and everything to lose from their expected loss in revenue.
Let no one underestimate the North’s capacity to cause disruption in the polity or to start brigandage in national politics. For them, it’s a prospect of survival or death.
The whole point of Nigerian unity is to create an apparatus of Government that enables the North to live off the South. To offload on the South is the mission of the North and the reason for Nigeria. The Fulani sense of entitlement to Nigeria’s wealth is so massive that it galls.
The North is not going to take kindly to a Nyesom Wike or a Babajide Sanwo-Olu standing in it’s way to a cushy and lazy life. They have done much worse before. The only way the North knows to make money is to take it from the South. For them, there is no other route to wealth.

The Federal Government acting through the offices of the Attorney General and the Federal Inland Revenue Service has gone ahead to procure pliant Northern judges, who without hearing the facts of the matter annulled a valid Federal High Court judgement issued by Justice Stephen Pam. The revoking order issued by Justice Haruna Tsammani of the Abuja Court of Appeal has shown itself to be thoughtless and offhand as it was made without even hearing the matter at hand.
Thisday reports on Saturday 11th July 2021 that: ”Without hearing the application seeking to stay the judgment of a Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Rivers State which restrained the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) from collecting Value Added Tax (VAT) in Rivers State, nor issuing a stay order, the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal yesterday ordered the Rivers State Government to suspend collection of VAT”.
This is the route of brazen lack of respect for systems and public order that the Appeal Court process will take from now henceforward. That gag order was issued by a Northern judge Justice Haruna Tsamani. We should all expect worse to come.

How should the Rivers and Lagos State Governments respond to the looming brigandage and disrespect for the law even in the higher courts? By creating and sustaining public pressure on the issues. The public emotion and awareness must be whipped up to insist that Northern gorging on Southern wealth must end.
Let the mud fight begin.
Yes Otoge!
Here comes the roforofo fight.

Copied. Revised!!!

  • What the people of Nigeria need is a referendum:
  • to end the evil political practices in Nigeria;
  • to put an end to the stifling of the growth of a single powerful sovereign nation; or
  • to promote the emergence of many virile nations within or without, all enjoying peaceful co-existence.
  • We CAN NOT be silent about it.
  • He that is silent in the days of the adversity of the oppressed is more guilty.
  • He has, by silence, reinforced the acts of the oppressor.

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