By Patrick Obia
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The Chairman of Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross River State, Mrs. Esther Bassey has debunked claims of high taxation from her council, accusing traders of Anambra origin at the popular Watt market of fomenting trouble.
Mrs. Bassey made the claim in an amateur video that has been shared multiple times on social media, where he also denied that the council is collecting taxes or levies from the traders.
“We have really enjoyed peace since I came, and they are enjoying it, that is why they want to cause problems in Calabar. These people have been our problem, and they are really our problem. I have seen they have been the cause of the unrest we have in Calabar; these Anambra people,” Mrs. Bassey can be heard saying on the video
She continued: “They have brought their problem because they said they are from Anambra, and then you are coming to cause problems in somebody’s State. Tomorrow when the problem starts, we, the owners of the land, will have nowhere to run to; you have where to run to. My God will judge you if you are giving yourself the right judgment.”
Her comments come on the heels of reports that 250 traders under the auspices of the Unified Traders Association selling at the Shopping Center complex of the market complained of high taxation and harassment by agents cleared by the council suspected to hail from the council.
The traders had on Saturday 16 July 2022 protested the rates, which are contrary to the Tax Exemption Law of Cross River State.
“We pay NGN30,000 annually for space amounting to NGN7.5 million; NGN500 monthly to community youths amounting to NGN125,000, and NGN750 daily ticketing amounting to NGN187,500. We are not slaves,” Mr. Ike Bassey, Chairman of United Traders Association, had told newsmen.
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