PDP guber aspirants in Ekiti cry foul over billboards removal

By Gbenga Ariyibi

Ado-Ekiti— GOVERNORSHIP aspirants of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, in Ekiti State, including the former governor of the state, Mr. Ayo Fayose and the state government are trading words over the removal of their posters and billboards in the state.

While the aspirants claimed they were being victimised because of their aspirations, alleging that government took the action to deceive dignitaries coming for the burial of the late Deputy Governor, Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka.

They alleged that the government wanted to create the impression that PDP was not popular in the state and contrary to government’s claim that those whose billboards were removed were indebted to the government.

The state government, through Ekiti State Advert and Signage Agency, was said to have removed posters and billboards of some gubernatorial aspirants for 2014 election, among others, over unpaid debt.

Besides Fayose, other PDP aspirants whose billboards were removed included Wale Aribisala, Senator Gbenga Aluko, Dr. Peter Obafemi and Mr. Bisi Omoyeni, among others.

However, the billboards of another PDP governorship aspirant, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, located in strategic positions across the state capital were left untouched.

Fayose, who spoke yesterday, alleged that “the Signage officials broke into my office after removing outer billboards and removed all the posters in the inner chambers of my office.

“This action indicates that the government is jittery and intolerant of the opposition.”

However, Director-General of the Agency, Prince Adewole Ajakaye, who refuted the allegation of victimisation, said those who had their billboards removed were indebted to the Agency.

He said the action of his Agency did not affect only the politicians, but organisations owned by corporate bodies and individuals.

He said: “Anytime we took unfavourable action, they always raise the allegation of victimisation.

“Erection of billboards is being regulated in Ekiti State and they are all aware of it.

“We expect them to pay the requisite fees to prevent the agency from removing their posters or billboards. We have always been careful in our actions. We always give our actions human face and that was why we did not destroy the billboards.

“We only removed them carefully so that we can make the business fashionable for people to patronise us as an income-generating body.”

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