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Anti-Land Use Charge Hike: Why We Joined NBA Ikeja’s Protest – JAF

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The Joint Action Front (JAF) has given reasons for supporting the protest by the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) against the increase in the Land Use Charge by the Lagos State Government.

Leading among the reasons, JAF says the increase is part of anti-poor policies of the APC/Ambode administration in the State.

Details of the protest justification by JAF is contained in their release, reproduced below:

WHY JAF JOINS NBA IKEJA TO PROTEST THE ANTI-PEOPLE HIKE IN LAND USE CHARGES?

– THE WORKING PEOPLE & POOR MASSES IN LAGOS MUST LIVE!

1.       The Joint Action Front (JAF), a pro-Labour civil society coalition is in this protest called by the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch to join forces with the working people and poor masses of Nigerian and African residents in Lagos to CONDEMN, REJECT & DEFEAT, in its entirety, the anti-people and wicked increases in the Land Use charges imposed by the exploitative Governor Ambode APC Lagos State Government.

2.       This Protest is consistent with our stand with the Lagos residents of working people and poor masses over the years. We note, from our preliminary study of the obnoxious Land Use charges that the working people and the poor masses of traders, women and artisans would be the greatest victims of the wicked policy. If the policy is not resisted and defeated, it will manifest in indiscriminate increases by Shylock landlords of rents in homes and shops, and there will be attendant consequences in inflation of the prices of food, goods and services.

3.       The latest hike in the Land Use charges, is not only exploitative, overtaxing an already impoverished population of poor masses, but a continuation of the anti-poor Megacity agenda, aimed at driving away the poor masses away from Lagos, using exploitative and extortionist policy measures to take possessions of poor homes and properties through speculated valuation to the exclusive preserve of the few rich class.

4.       The working people and the poor masses must see this struggle as an attack on the rights of the poor working people and the oppressed masses to live. If we may ask them, how many times have the wages and incomes of the poor being increased since 2009? Is it not the income from wages that service commodities exchange and services in the informal sectors? If this wicked policy is allowed, the poor masses will be frustrated out of Lagos, and more slums will add up to Ajegunle, Badiya, Amukoko, Ajangbadi, Agege, Mushin, etc and poor living conditions will be perpetuated, thereby giving the megacity agenda further excuses of property takeover through demolitions.

5.       JAF therefore urges the working people and poor masses in Lagos to disregard and reject the propaganda being aired by Governor Ambode and his paid agents of political jobbers and compromised NGOs and NGIs that there is “a good” to the law. There is nothing good about any policy meant to overtax the poor income earners and to further impoverish them.

6.       We salute the NBA Ikeja Branch for its consistency and in particular, for this timely clarion to resistance against the Lagos Government that has been notorious for anti-poor policies. We can recall that the NBA Ikeja Branch has been an effective ally of JAF and its Labour partners in the barricades. Their members, in large number, remained with us throughout on the streets in the January 2012 Uprising against the hike in fuel prices.

7.       This struggle must be seen as the beginning of resistance to kick out all anti-people regimes by 2019. It should be seen as the wake up call to resist and defeat all the anti-people and repressive policies of the APC Government (and other political parties of the Class of Looters) that daily manifest in demolition of shops and houses of the poor, unlawful arrests, extortions, detention and imprisonment of hundreds of poor masses indiscriminately arrested on both major roads and inside the streets on premeditated charges of wandering, street trading and road crossing, etc.

8.       JAF will remain on the barricades with the NBA Ikeja, its Labour allies and the working people and poor masses and with all other patriotic groups committed to the rights of existence of the POOR in Lagos without Government’s imposition of hardship, until the wicked and punitive policy is reversed and defeated.

DARE TO STRUGGLE, DARE TO WIN!

FORWARD EVER TO SYSTEM CHANGE, BACKWARD NEVER!!

 

DR. OLADIPO FASHINA                            COMRADE ABIODUN AREMU

JAF Chairperson                                         JAF Secretary

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