Nigeria’s main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has asked the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to stop inflicting additional hardship on Nigerians with its planned reintroduction
This appeal was contained in a statement titled, ‘Toll Gates: Stop Imposing More Hardship on Nigerians, PDP Tells APC’, signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, on Sunday.
The PDP in the statement said the move by the APC-led government to mount toll gates on major Nigerian roads as “a downright act of wickedness against the suffering masses.”
“Our party, after an extensive consideration, insists that the move to return the toll gates to allow APC interests to further fleece already impoverished Nigerians, is offensive, vexatious, inflammatory and as such should not be contemplated under any guise whatsoever,” the statement said.
“The party invites Nigerians to recall that the PDP administration dismantled the toll gates 18 years ago in order to ease the burden on the people as well as end the corrupt regime of operators.
“APC’s decision to impose levies on the highway, even after it had increased the pump price of fuel to an extortionate N165 per liter, further confirms that APC is a heartless party that is out to fleece and impose hardship on the people to benefit its leaders.”
The party noted that with the huge financial resources at the disposal of the APC, there was no justification for inflicting more pain on Nigerians under the guise of tolls.
According to opposition party, returning to tolls is insensitive especially as the administration has not been able to account for the over N1.4trn allocated for works in addition to over N120 billion collected from Nigerians as motor vehicle license in the last six years.
It also noted that “the Buhari Presidency has not taken any step to recover the over N25 trillion reportedly stolen by APC leaders in various revenue generating agencies including the NNPC, NEMA, NPA, FIRS, NIMASA, NDDC, NHIS among others, where culprits are merely ‘eased out’ instead of being prosecuted.”
In response, a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena said, “The PDP should go back and study how to play opposition politics because they will remain in opposition for a long time.
“The decision to re-introduce toll gates is an economic decision. In most developed and developing countries of the world there are toll gates. Money generated from them is used to maintain the roads. We all know what Covid-19 has done to economies around the world.”