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Enugu APC Raises Alarm Over Alleged Destruction Of Its Billboards by PDP




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…. Allegation, False, Unfounded, Says Party Chair

By Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Enugu state chapter of the All progressive congress APC, has raised the alarm of alleged destruction of billboards of its governorship candidate in the 2019 election, Senator Ayogu Eze, in strategic locations of Enugu by agents of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the state.

It said apart from destroying the available ones, the PDP has been doing everything within its powers to stop the opposition party in the state from mounting  billboards with photograph of its gubernatorial candidate,  that of President Muhammadu Buhari, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Addressing newsmen Wednesday at the state APC secretariat in Enugu, state chairman of the party, Dr. Ben Nwoye, aid “you will recall that the Vice President is scheduled to be in Enugu this Friday for the book launch of our leader and one of our strongest supporters to president Muhammadu Buhari in the person of His Excellency, Sullivan Chime.

“But that particular event has unveiled a threat to our democracy; there is a threat to publicity and media in Enugu state. By our last check the PDP led government has 2,294 bill boards across the 17-local government of the state, notwithstanding the amount of these billboards and structures put up

“They now want to stifle APC by intimidating owners of billboards, ensuring that we don’t get a space to advertise Mr President, ensuring that we don’t have any space to advertise our own gubernatorial candidate, Sen Ayogu Eze; because they have no achievement to showcase in those local governments and around the streets of Enugu, they showcase billboards.

Nwoye said: “To worsen it all, wherever they find a space, where APC billboard is located, no matter how remotely the place may be, they ensure that it is dismantled, it is dismembered, sometimes burnt and has it scattered away because what they have to showcase in Enugu are billboards.

“It becomes very important for the public to note this because the APC Enugu state, paid up two-million-naira advance payment to Rocana, an advertising firm in Enugu, for available space just to welcome His Excellency Prof Yemi Osinbajo and to launch his campaign in the southeast realizing that Enugu state is the capital of the southeast.

“But, the deceptive government of the PDP has muzzled Rocana into retaining our money, retaining the product itself which is the actual print that cost over N600,000 and refusing to mount the billboard.

The chairman said the advertising company had earlier agreed to keep the billboard located immediately after the airport, for three months throughout the duration of the campaign. He has the material, but he is now informing us that because of the interference of the state government, he is no longer allowing us to use the billboard.

According to Nwoye, that particular billboard is very important to the party, becuase,  it is way of advertising the successes of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to the southeast because that is the gateway to the southeast and considering the number of people that uses  the airport from the zone

“What they have done is to stifle information and to muscle us out because they don’t have anything to show. Two days ago, they took their time to unhoist another billboard which we put up for our gubernatorial candidate around the Shoprite centre.

“They used instrumentality of governance, the principal of that school mobilized youths paid for by the PDP to go up and unravel the material, destroy it because all they want to showcase is billboard.

“If you put together what they spend in billboards, you will discover that tremendous amount of state resources have been spent in violation of electoral act, in violation of electoral time table, in strong disregard for opposition voice and better business practices.

“We are going to win Enugu state. This is a mockery of democracy, we will resist it and we are calling on the people of Enugu state to resist it, adding that the

the visit of the Vice President is to come and showcase what a good government is all about by Sullivan Chime.

“The book entitled: “honour to serve by Sullivan Chime chronicles eight years of service, chronicles what it means to serve from the dark age to the present age and the question begging to be answered is did the seamless transition and continuation take place and where.

“It is a shame, it is condemnable, we should not have such behavior in modern time, if this government has done well, and they should have opportunity to explain that to the people not billboard. We don’t intend to engage in display of billboards but on the projects that have been done in the state.

However, in a swift reaction via a statement, the state chairman of the PDP, chief Augustin Nnamani, dismissed the allegation, describing it as false and unfounded.

He said: “Ordinarily, the state chapter of the PDP would have wished not to join issues with the opposition APC in the state, over series of mischievous allegations against our great party, but since this recent accusation is capable of undermining the enviable style of governance in the state, anchored on peace, good governance, decency, credibility and respect for all institutions, the need to react becomes imperative:

The statement read thus:  “the PDP did not and certainly will not prevent any other political party in the state from mounting its billboard in any approved location.

“The PDP-led state government, has already mounted billboards in strategic locations, welcoming the Vice President , His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to Enugu State on Friday, November 23, in line with our standing tradition of according respect, each time the President or his Vice visits the state, which they always appreciate.

 


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