The Anambra State Signage and Advertisement Agency has dismantled the campaign billboard of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.
Obi’s big billboard located at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Temporary Site Flyover was pulled down on Saturday alongside that of the party’s candidate for the Anambra Central Senatorial District, Chief Victor Umeh.
In August 2022, the Anambra State Government had directed presidential candidates to pay N10m, senatorial candidates to pay N7m, House of Representatives candidates to pay N5m and state House of Assembly candidates to pay N1m as campaign fees before mounting any billboard or pasting posters.
Speaking on the development on Sunday, the Managing Director of ANSAA, Mr Tony Ujubuonu, said contrary to insinuations, the pulling down of the billboards had no political undertone, but that the affected candidates did not comply with the laid down procedures.
He partly said, “In August and October 2022, ANSAA sent out a letter to all the political parties in Anambra to obtain political campaign permits which would enable them to enjoy campaigns around the state and have access to rent available government outdoor media assets and public spaces.
“Before commencing enforcement in November 2022, ANSAA ran a one-week sensitisation paid adverts in the media in case someone missed the earlier formally communicated information.”
While reacting to the development, the state chairman of the Labour Party, Mr Ugochukwu Emmanuel, on Sunday said the antagonism of the state government against Obi has been carried to a higher level.
Emmanuel partly said, “We paid in obedience to a government order. Our application to hoist mini billboards on the streetlight poles along the expressway was rejected but it is evident that the same billboards of other candidates of other parties are hoisted on the same poles.
When contacted, Christian Aburime, the Press Secretary to Soludo, said the state government was studying the development and will issue a press statement on the matter soon.