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Peter Obi, Victor Umeh’s campaign billboards destroyed in Anambra

The Anambra State Signage and Advertisement Agency (ANSAA) has dismantled the campaign billboard of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi in parts of the state capital.

It was gathered that Mr. Obi’s massive billboard located at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Temporary Site Flyover was, on Saturday, pulled down alongside that of the Party’s candidate for the Anambra Central Senatorial District in the February elections, Chief Victor Umeh.

Recall that last August, the Anambra State government placed a public announcement directing Presidential candidates to pay N10 million, senatorial candidates to pay N7 million, House of Representatives candidates to pay N5 million and state House of Assembly candidates to pay N1 million as campaign fees before mounting any billboard or poster.

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Reactions had continued to trail the development as stakeholders and indigenes insisted that the action had a political undertone, while it was alleged that the action was ordered by Governor Charles Soludo.

Speaking on Sunday, on the development, the Managing Director of ANSAA, Mr. Tony Ujubuonu, said that the pulling down of the billboards had no political reasons, but that the affected candidates did not comply with the laid down procedures.

He said the action had nothing to do with Governor Soludo, explaining that the exercise was carried out after several efforts, phone calls and entreaties to the affected candidates for them to pay for the advert, which proved abortive.

Said he, “In August 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 access to rent available government outdoor media assets and public spaces.

“Also in October, the Agency sent out another letter to the candidates reminding them of the need to obtain the permit. 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.

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“Many of the political parties and their candidates responded including a good chunk of candidates of the ruling party in the state.

“But sadly, no payment was made by the Labour Party candidates both at the national and state House of Assembly levels. Several phone calls and entreaties were made to them through their media managers but they ignored these.

“They have had several campaigns in the state without permits and have their campaign materials everywhere without permits. It’s only fair that all politicians should be treated equally.

“Equally, any political party candidate affected knows that either they are yet to pay or are yet to complete their payments of the political campaign permit.

“We hope this is not a case of entitlement mentality or a brazen decision to disobey the Anambra State Signage and Advertisement Agency.

“Once again, ANSAA will not allow itself to be drawn into any partisan politics but will continue to serve Ndi Anambra to the best of her ability.”