The Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned the vandalism of its outdoor billboards and campaign posters.
At a press conference on Saturday in Benin City, the party accused the Edo State government of being behind the attacks.
The Vice Chairman on Media and Publicity of the APC National Campaign Council, Patrick Obahiagbon, who spoke to reporters described the move as a terrible escalation of abuse of office and disregard for the law allegedly by the Godwin Obaseki administration.
He alleged that the state government embarked on the destruction and removal of the APC’s billboards at various strategic points in the capital city of Benin on Thursday.
Obahiagbon also accused Governor Obaseki of heating up the polity ahead of the polls with what he described as ‘reckless and provocative comments, media blackmail, and criminal actions of intolerance, including the mass destruction of opponent’s campaign materials”.
“This unfortunate and criminal action took flight on Thursday, the 16th of July 2020, when the Edo State government expressly directed one Mr Dave Giwa Amu who is parading himself as the Managing Director of the Edo State Signage and Advertising Agency to commence the immediate removal and destruction of our billboards,” he claimed.
APC campaign spokesperson added, “It is pertinent to note that these outdoor billboards and indeed other campaign materials were duly paid for, designed and erected in full compliance with all legal requirements.
“Furthermore, the Edo State Signage and Advertising Agency, purportedly led by the so-called Mr Dave Giwa Amu, an avowed supporter of the incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki, is an agency that is yet to receive the assent of the Edo House of Assembly.
“In essence, this agency, as of today, is unknown to the laws of Edo State and is visibly being weaponised by the state government, an interested party in the election, to give itself an illegal, unfair, unethical, fraudulent advantage as we approach the polls.”
Obahiagbon, however, said the APC has since forwarded a petition to the Commissioner of Police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Chairman of the State Media Campaign Council’s Sub-Committee on Outdoor Advert, Chris Azebamwan, also condemned the incident.
He said it was quite shameful for a government that has paraded itself as civilised, as well as driven by order and decorum.
In a swift reaction, the state government described the allegations by the APC that it sponsored the removal of its campaign materials in different parts of Benin City as baseless and false.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communications Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said the APC and its candidate were only making accusations in order to score cheap political points.
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