The Action Democratic Party governorship candidate in Imo State, Kachi Nwoga has frowned at the state government’s imposition of N54 million on opposition parties to erect campaign billboards ahead of the November 11 election.
The ADP governorship flagbearer in the state, while chatting with journalists in Abuja on Monday opined that the ruling party is not setting a enabling ground for other parties to thrive.
He condemned the fee, describing it as obscene and sinful, according to Daily Post.
He said, “The opposition is not allowed to breathe. I cannot go and put up a billboard today because they are telling me to pay N54 million naira to put up a billboard, it means I cannot put up a billboard.
“I don’t know any state anywhere, even if you need to convert it to dollars, nobody can charge this kind of money. It’s obscene, it’s atrocious, it’s sinful. That’s what they’re asking the opposition to pay.
“And I intend to ask, since the entire state up and down is filled with the billboard of one particular person, I really want to know how much the State has made from that one person.”
He also lamented at the opposition party confiscating branded vehicles of other political parties under the premise of lack of advertising permits.
However, the Imo State government as of June 7, 2023, imposed the sum of N54 million on opposition parties as advertising and signage displays for governorship campaigns.
The General Manager of Imo Signage and Advertisement Agency, Hon. Chibuzor Umunnakwe, notified various political parties participating in the forthcoming governorship election in the State.
The letter, titled, ‘Schedule of rates and terms for political advertising and ancillary signage displays in Imo State for gubernatorial campaigns’ revealed that the political parties who intend to erect billboards or engage in any sort of campaign must apply to the agency.
Though the letter was dated June 7th, the agency maintained that the rates, terms and conditions came into effect on April 2, 2023, for all types of political advertising, out-of-home display of campaign materials and ancillary items for gubernatorial campaigns in the state.
It reads: “Political candidates intent on deploying outdoor/public displays must obtain, fill and submit the IMSAA application for outdoor political campaign advertisement form.
“A list of proposed billboard sites, including the ones for rental should be indicated in the form or as a separate attached document. If the sites are going to be built by the candidate or supporting parties, these would be treated as temporary structures.
“On approval of the form content, candidates will make the appropriate fee payments as indicated below.
“If IMSAA finds all processes satisfactory, candidates will get a compliance confirmation letter from the agency.”
Umunnakwe said the application form fee is pegged at N100,000, while the “gubernatorial Campaign Permit fee N54,000,000.”
It further enjoined all candidates who have been put forward by their respective parties to vie for elective positions must obtain a permit from IMSAA before erecting an advertisement structure, posting or displaying any political advertisements or messaging in Imo State, adding that the permit allows the candidate to display political messages within permitted areas of Imo State. The permit shall be for only for the duration of a political election campaign and will expire thirty days after the election for which the candidate was given the permit.”