EDET EDET – EKET.
“It is not only when a man is in chains, whipped or bruised to perform a certain task that makes him a slave, many are clandestinely molded into slavery with his right shoved on his face” – Edet Edet
It is obvious that the constitutional responsibility of a lawmaker is to make laws; laws that should engender growth or contribute to the wellbeing of the people, of whom the legislator owes a debt of gratitude for surrendering the mandate of representation willingly without being coerced, but when the law smacks the electorates on the face, there is a need to make demands of our mandate.
From a critical point of view, The recent proposed ‘Real Property Charge Bill, 2016, procreated and sponsored by Usoro Akpanusoh, member representing Esit Eket/ Ibeno state constituency in the Sixth assembly, which has scaled second reading on the floor of the house, deviates from the provisos that should carter for the electorates, who are wailing in the face of recession due to the poverty that has eaten deep into the fabric of our nation.
The bill when enacted into law is to make provision for the imposition of land based charge, to be called Real Property Charge, for the levying and collection and for connected purpose.
By this bill, anybody that owns any type of property in any part of the state, villages save as listed in section 2(1) which states thus “ Property Liable to Charge; “ the charge shall be payable on All property, except – (a) Property owned and occupied by a religious body and used exclusively for public worships or religious education. (b) Cemeteries and burial grounds. (c) A recognized and registered institution or educational institute certified by the Commissioner of Finance to be non-profit making. (d) Property used as public library. (e) Any property specifically exempted by the Governor of the State by notice of published in the State Government official Gazette”, shall be taxed accordingly.
Usoro Akpanusoh’s legislative guide replicates the stance of the National Party who gained power in South Africa in 1948; its all-white government immediately began enforcing policies of racial segregation under a system of legislation that it called apartheid. This laws that robed men into slavery with their coats and tie on, which created an uprising that left many dead, injured and some wallowed in the prison custody.
Usoro’s proposition is meant to incite the people against the Udom’s administration by this singular bill. He is already telling the masses not to vote for Udom again in 2019 because the administration will keep extorting money from them. He has placed the Udom’s administration in a bad light before the electorates should this bill scale the hurdle. Let me not believe that Usoro is becoming loyal to the cabals that brought him on-board and playing their script, of which we believe, might love to slog it out with the incumbent in the next election. Those who barely eat three square meals and the aged people are shouting. Tenants foresee a hike in their rent, where is then, government of the people?. This law is a display of ingratitude and a stab on the rights of the electorates, and as such, creating more problems for the Udom’s administration. Usoro Akpanusoh should apologize openly to Akwa Ibomites, for conceiving slavery for Akwa Ibom people clandestinely without any recourse to their wellbeing. He should note that the Dakaada ideology was not meant to force men to their kneels.
I make bold to say that Usoro Akpanusoh is inept in balancing legislative views. He is ignorant of those common values that might serve as the foundation for a new political reinforcement that should engulf the floor of the house for deliberation. His myopia over salient issues affecting the electorates and his retrogressive will for the Udom’s administration is the reason for this legislative misguide, and I sure believe that one day the electorates will remind him of this bill, enacted or not, just to be used as a credential to determine who is fit to be a legislator in the near future.