From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
As February election draws closers the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has intensified its campaign in Lagos with pasting of posters and placing of bill board of its various candidates in strategic areas of the state.
The PDP has flooded the state with various campaign posters of President Goodluck Jonathan, placing them above APC candidate’s posters.
Disturbed with the indiscriminate pasting of the posters, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola described the indiscriminate pasting of campaign posters of President Jonathan in the state without making payments to local governments and relevant agencies in the state as an act of impunity
Also a Chinese Telecoms services giant, Huawei cancelled its street lamp pole outdoor contract, with Lagos based outdoor advertising agency Touchpoint Limited over illegal deployment of Goodluck Jonathan campaign materials on poles paid for by the company.
Fashola who spoke yesterday at the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign held in Oworoshoki area of the state said the act of just pasting posters in Lagos by the ruling PDP without recourse to the relevant agencies is unconstitutional.
“On my way to office this morning I saw the desperation of the President and his party today. On the Third Mainland Bridge today, the president posters have flooded it. In the constitution, the local government has the responsibility for adverts.
“That is one of their sources of generating revenue. And they have been working with Lagos State Advertising Agency(LASAA), not only to clean up the state but to put an institutionalized framework for advert management but the President and his supporters have taken over the advert spot on the road.
“They will claim that the road belong to the Federal Government. That is not the point, if you build the highway way, advertising on it belong to the local government anywhere in Nigeria.
“LASAA already had contractual agreement with some private companies who have paid to use that place. Without applying to LASAA and respect for the existing contractual right of business in the country. He has taken over that place with his posters. Isn’t that lawlessness? Is that the kind of leader that should rule the country?”
Meanwhile a statement by Touchpoint Limited said Huawei had secured the old tollgate location by Motorways, Ojota, Lagos, for a period of one year and had paid the mandatory Lagos State Signage & Advertisement Agency (LASAA) fee for their campaign. Sources at Huawei said the deployment of Goodluck Jonathan campaign materials alongside theirs was unacceptable and therefore had no alternative but to cancel the contract.
“Our client, Huawei cancelled the contract saying it was due to the breach by the PDP to run a parallel campaign on poles solely reserved for Huawei.
“Elections should not be used as an avenue to disrupt the honest business of hardworking Nigerians. There are procedures for deployment of items on street lamp poles and, going through this crude means is not only damaging, it is unfair, inconsiderate and above all illegal by a political party that seemingly prides itself on the rule of law. We have spoken with our lawyers and we are considering legal action over this inconsiderate action by the PDP and its agents,’’ the company said.
Meanwhile Fashola said the state government has spent N51 billion on Federal Roads in Lagos state, adding that the state government has been funding repairs of expansion joints in the state and had so far about 33 expansion joints.
He lamented that Nigeria remains the only OPEC country that is importing fuel while others are refining locally, saying the main issue is not about paltry reduction in the price of petroleum but building refinery.
Fashola said the President could not be seeking for re-election when the over 200 girls kidnapped from Chibok Girls Grammar School are yet to be found.
Meanwhile, two people were injured when cult groups clashed at the campaign ground of the APC in Bariga.
The clash left party faithful and supporters scampering for safety, when armed boys carrying various weapons invaded the campaign ground.