Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) said on Wednesday it had to remove some billboards and posters from some roads in the state because political parties concerned failed to apply and secure appropriate permissions from the agency.
Mobolaji Sanusi, the general manager of LASAA, gave the explanation at a security/stakeholders meeting with the Independent National Electoral Commission, political parties and their candidates with Imohimi Edgal, Commissioner of Police (CP) in charge of Lagos.
The meeting was at the instance of the CP to foster peace among the political interest groups ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Recall that Jimi Agbaje, governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), on November 27 reported the vandalism of his billboards and posters to the state police command, with the allegation the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) was responsible.
Sanusi explained that the APC obtained permission from the agency before mounting its billboards and pasting its posters, especially in the Lagos Island while others did not.
According to him, there are rules and regulations guiding the pasting of billboards and posters in Lagos State, which must be strictly adhered to.
He explained that the agency usually cleaned up the state on a weekly basis, to remove any posters or billboards mounted illegally.
Edgal advised that all participants and political candidates should always engage the agency before pasting and mounting their billboards and posters, to take advantage of the agency’s discounts.
“Lagos State is politically matured. The removal of the billboards and posters could not have been an intentional act and that is why I have invited the LASAA MD to be here today, in order to clear the air on the issue,” he said.
Edgal noted that a major thrust of the meeting was sequel to complaints about the destruction of political party posters and billboards.
The CP warned parties against information that some groups were already arming some members of the NURTW to cause chaos in the state, in case election results did not favour them.
Sam Olumekun, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Lagos, said there were 64 registered political parties in the state and advised politicians to focus their campaigns on issues, instead of campaigns that could result into violence.
Olumekun noted that INEC would ensure a free, fair and credible elections, which he said can only be achieved in a peaceful atmosphere.
However, some other parties accused LASAA of bias, and favouring the APC more than other parties in the state.