The Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, has accused the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency of declaring an all-out war against his campaign.
Agbaje said this on Sunday after residents of the Pedro area of the state reportedly caught five LASAA officials in the early hours of Sunday morning destroying the PDP candidate’s campaign billboards and loading them onto a truck on the Third Mainland Bridge.
The LASSAA officials were said to have been taken to the Pedro Police Station at Shomolu, Lagos, where they gave their names as: Julius Opebenyo, Tunde Akanbi, George Benson, Yinka Adejuwon and Saba Edgal.
The apprehended men were said to be in the LASAA uniform, with the agency’s identity cards on them, a statement by the Director of Media and Publicity, Jimi Agbaje Campaign Organisation, Mr. Felix Oboagwina, said.
Protesting over the incident, Agbaje said, “We have lost hundreds of billboards from supposedly LASAA officials. We believe this is a conspiracy by those in government against us. It is just not acceptable.
“These people preach democracy, but do not practise democracy. Democracy is about choice, democracy is about allowing us to express ourselves.”
Lamenting about the situation, the PDP candidate said his publicity devices, including A-Frame billboards and flags had been continually broken, vandalised and carted away by LASAA operatives, who, he alleged, usually leave untouched those of the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Describing the alleged LASAA clampdown on his publicity materials as “malicious, partisan, provocative, wicked and illegal,” Agbaje urged the Police to quickly apprehend and prosecute any LASAA agent found culpable in the damage of his campaign materials.
He also demanded that LASAA immediately return his billboards to their various sites.
In response, APC’s spokesperson in Lagos, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said the party needed nobody’s help to win the election, hence, it could not have partnered with anybody to destroy the PDP candidate’s campaign billboards.
“Nobody is sending anybody to help the APC win the election. It’s not in our character to do that.
“We have even said it at the wards and local governments that nobody should do anything that will give the PDP any reason to accuse us of anything,” he said.
He added, “The PDP is already drowning, both at the state and federal levels. As a matter of fact, anybody destroying their campaign billboards is doing so for the opposition, not for us.”
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Chike Oti, has asked those destroying political parties’ candidates’ campaign materials to refrain from doing so to avoid public disturbance.
“We also advise the PDP candidate to petition LASAA and work things out with them,” Oti said.