The governorship candidate of Labour Party(LP) in Abia State, Monday cried out over the destruction of its billboard by alleged agents of the state government even after he had paid N10 million fee as required.
Spokesman of the Alex Otti Campaign Organisation, Mr Ferdinand Ekeoma said that the billboard was mounted at Umuikaa junction along the Enugu – Port Harcourt expressway.
“It’s important to inform the general public that as law abiding citizens with utmost regard and respect for our laws and constituted authorities, we adhered strictly to all known guidelines for the mounting of campaign billboards,” he said.
According to Ekeoma, aside from keeping to the regulations of the Abia State Signage and Advertisement Agency (ABSAA) LP “also paid the required sum of Ten Million Naira only (N10,000,000) to Abia state government”.
The ABSAA public relations officer, Agha Onyeozuru could not be reached as his phone was switched off when a call was put across for him to explain the action of the agency in removing a billboard already paid for.
But Ekeoma insisted the there was no reason for the removal of the billboard as “we are also very much aware that the Licenced Vendors we contracted also paid the government all fees required for them to use their billboards for advertisements in Abia state”.
LP therefore demanded that Abia government should “restore estore our Illegally removed billboard and allow peace to reign in Abia”.
The opposition party had early this month complained bitterly a out “unprovoked acts of violence” allegedly unleashed on its members by agents of government, which was denied by the spokesman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Amah Abraham.
But Ekeoma noted that despite the alarm raised by LP, which also asked the general public to hold the state government responsible for any breakdown of law and odder, there appears to be no respite.
He said that rather than making government and its agents to retrace their steps, the outcry has instead “emboldened” the oppressors as “the government has gone a step further to perpetrate another act of provocative violence by illegally removing our newly erected billboard”.
“Possibly because of our refusal to retaliate against previous provocative acts of lawlessness, the perpetrators found the motivation to repeate same thing,” he noted..
The Otti Campaign spokesman stated that Labour Party’s outcry and appeals for redress “are not signs of cowardice or weakness, but well intended measures to reassure Abians of our pro-people peaceful disposition as well as to put the public in the know and set the record straight for future references”.
“We hope that those presiding over the affairs of Abia and who are responsible for these desperation-induced violence would quickly realise that tomorrow is heavily pregnant and that there’s life outside politics and thus retrace their steps for the sake of our state and our people”.