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Make government policies in citizens’ best interest – COPDEM charges FG

A non-governmental organization, the Coalition for the Protection of Democracy, COPDEM, has called on the Federal Government to henceforth tailor government policies towards the best interest of the citizenry to alleviate their sufferings.

The group canvassed that as a government freely elected by the people, democratic governments in Nigeria must always show that they have the interest of the people at heart by creating a conducive atmosphere in their favour.

The National Chairman of the organization, Prince Rwang Pam Jr, made the call during the National Convention of the body held in Abuja.

Rwang said governance should be about making the lives of the common man better, rather than wearing them out with levies and taxes, which according to him have direct negative effects on the people.

“For me, there is a lot of work to be done by the present government; we have heard of policies and for me to be okay with the performance of this government, the ordinary Nigerians must be able to say it, people in the street. I want to see people in them feel better.

“If you consider the level of taxes and levies that people are inflicted with almost weekly, what has the government done about it, when are they going to stop all these taxes and try to create a safety net for the masses, I feel they can do more.

He queried the cyber security levy placed on bank transactions, stating that such a policy is ill-timed and contrary to the promises by the present government to make life more meaningful.

“Why must you bring the tax at this time, it should be out of profit, you cannot tax anyone yet to make a profit. So all these are inflicting on the psyche of the poor people, it doesn’t make sense.” He added

He advised citizens to always hold their leaders accountable as well as government institutions to reduce the rate of corruption and nepotism among the political class.

Speaking further, Rwang said the organization thought it wise to celebrate those who have contributed in various ways to the defence of democracy in the country.

He said such recognitions are important as they will encourage others to stand for democracy at all times.

He pleaded that Nigerians should celebrate heroes like Dele Giwa, Gani Fawehinmi, Obadiah Mailafia, and MKO Abiola among others for laying down their lives for the country.

Also Speaking, the Chairman of the Occasion and Secretary General of Big Tent, Austin Kemie, noted with regret that current Nigerian politicians are not living by the principles of democracy, unlike what it was in the past.

He said the current political parties in the country are yet to define their purpose, adding that the country is still in need of politicians who can drive democracy for all Nigerians.

“Looking at Nigerian politicians, do you think that they are living by that principle of democracy, Certainly not. When you talk about the Second Republic, we see politicians with a conscience.

“For the political parties at the time, you can easily identify what each of them stood for, like the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), People’s Redemption Party, (PRP), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and so on, in the late 1970s, up to the early 1980s.

“But in this current dispensation, I’m sorry that we don’t have the kind of politicians that can actually drive democracy as it were in Nigeria,” he said.

Those honoured at the occasion include the late President Umaru Ya’Adua; former President Olusegun Obasanjo; presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi and Femi Falana, SAN.

Others include Bishop Mathew Kukah; the late minister of information, Prof. Dora Akunyili; the Yoruba leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo; the late Dele Giwa; the late Gani Fawehinmi; Senator Shehu Sani and Oby Ezekwesili, among others

Make government policies in citizens’ best interest – COPDEM charges FG

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