The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said on Sunday the state was not fighting the Federal Government or any of its agencies over the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) contrary to insinuation in some quarters.
Wike, who stated this at a public lecture put together as part of the 60th birthday celebration of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Ahmed Raji, said the state was only trying to pursue what was right and legitimate within the ambits of the constitution.
Represented by the state’s Attorney-General Zacchaeus Adangor (SAN), the governor said Rivers and the federal government were “co-equal” because they both derived their life from the constitution.
He said: “I have heard a lot of comments being made that we are fighting the Federal Government, there is no desire or any intention of the Rivers government to fight the Federal Government.
“The principle of co-equality is fundamental to a federal arrangement, that principle leads to the principle of autonomy, autonomy leads to physical autonomy and physical autonomy leads to physical federalism and when you put all the principles together, what it means is that each level of government, whether federal or state is co-equal because none derives its life from the other.
“They both derive their life from the constitution because they have co-equality. That is the fundamental aspect of physical federalism and until we get it, we will continue this journey of talking without result but I think that the court has a role to play, the court can lay this crisis and controversy to rest when it makes a pronouncement.”
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