Stories by Stanley Onyekwere
Clergymen and politicians carrying out their activities through faith based and political organisations have been warned to desist from indiscriminate circulation of posters on public structures, thereby defacing the Abuja, the Federal Capital City.
The Director, Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage (DOAS), in FCT, Mr. Yusuf Ibrahim Yakassai gave the warning after taking a tour of some public structures in the city, last week.
He disclosed that a fine of one hundred thousand naira (N100, 000) would be imposed on individual and one million naira (N1000000) on corporate body that is found culpable in such menace.
Though the Director noted that some religious body use those structures for directional purposes into the city, he however reiterated that pasting of posters is totally illegal in Abuja and promise to deal with the culprits to serve as deterrence to others.
According to him, “The minister is not happy with this development, we have been spending money to remove this thing but you can see they comeback and put the posters back.
“So we are going to take it up from now on and prosecute everybody that is being found one thing.
“There are places that are made for putting posters, not only poster, there are empty billboard that you can hire and put your campaign or even lamp poll which you pay a fees for that but this one they put now make the place look ugly.
“Supposed, we have paint this place now, when you are going to clean it up, you alone with the paint, so it deface the city.
“And government is spending money to built this thing, so placing posters all over the place is not allowed – it’s illegal.
“Sometimes they block traffic signs. It’s not allowed, as it’s not normal to be doing so.”
DOAS boss while speaking on the forthcoming 2019 general elections, Mr Yakassai wondered why some politicians, contesting seats in the states, would come and deface the city with their campaign posters, instead of pasting such posters in their respective states.
He therefore warned political parties, politicians and their supporters not to deface the city, by indulging in indiscriminate pasting of campaign posters on public structures ahead of 2019 general elections.
While calling on politicians to sensitize their members on the imperative to be law-abiding, the Director warned that any culprits found will be deal with severely.
“It embarrasses us especially when foreign visitors come in. Abuja is not the capital of Nigeria only, but Africa and indeed, the black race because in every five black people you meet outside, at least three is Nigerians.
“It is our city of pride and we are the ones to keep it neat and workable”, he stressed.
Furthermore, the DOAS Director enjoined the public, religious bodies and politicians to desist from engaging in the act of defacing the public structures with posters, noting that such act will portray Abuja city in a bad shape.
Earlier, an enforcement officer who is monitoring such activities in the city with his team, Mr Adegoke noted that the unit disappointed with the character of some individual or corporate who choose public structures to paste their posters.
Adegoke explains; “we have done so many exercises. We have removed and removed. We remove d the one in Kubwa road.
“We have done the one in Airport road, that is Yaradu’a expressway. After removing this posters, within one or two days or maximum of one week, you will discover that they come and back in full force and paste poster in our absent.
“And government is spending a lot of money, is not fair, people should desist from doing this and keep the city clean.”