The Buhari/Osinbajo Concerned Network (BOCN) in Ondo state on Wednesday accused the state government of destroying the re-election billboards of President Muhammadu Buhari in the state.
The group claimed that officials of the Ondo State Government Signage and Advertisement Agency (OSSAA) invaded its secretariat along Oyemekun Road, Akure, the state capital, and destroyed all the campaign billboards and banners of Buhari.
Musa Salami, coordinator of the group, said other items like multimedia projector, laptops and DSTV decoder were also carted away by the agency’s officials.
Salami said there was no prior notice or official communication from the agency to the group before its staff invaded the BOCN secretariat.
“Staff of the Signage and Advertisement Agency drove to the BOCN Secretariat around 3.30 pm and vandalised signage and other campaign materials worth over N10 million erected within the premises, while properties were also looted.
“Over 29 banners of different sizes ranging from 10.8ft by 5.5ft to 38.5ft by 5.7ft, which contained pictures of President Muhammad Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, National Leader, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and key achievements of the current administration were destroyed and carted away,” he said.
The coordinator described the destruction of the billboards as malicious and political, saying, however, that it would not stop the group from working for the victory of Buhari and Osibajo in next year’s election.
Salami said members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) never experienced such humiliation when the party was in opposition in the state.
He said: “We gathered authoritatively that this act was premeditated and a personal vendetta, the intention of which is to weaken the party, reduce the chances of Mr. President ahead the 2019 election and make it easy for the opposition to overrun despite APC being in government.
“The property was mistaken to belong to former Ondo state APC chairman, Barrister D. I. Kekemeke, who is our patron and a close ally to our National Leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
However, Akinwande Akinrodoye, Senior Special Adviser to the Governor and Chairman of OSSAA, confirmed that 26 unapproved banners and billboards were seized, but were not destroyed by the agency.
Akinroboye, who explained that the agency was saddled with the responsibility of regulating all outdoor advertisements, said the removal of the billboards was not political, adding that they were merely doing their job as an agency of the government.