Campaign organisation for the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, on Thursday, accused Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of using the state advertising agency to prevent the opposition candidate from erecting his billboard in the state.
A statement by Olawale Rasheed, the Director, Media & Strategy, Osun PDP Governorship Campaign Organisation, further said that the state advertising agency had issued directives to outdoor advertising practitioners not to accept any placement from PDP Governorship Campaign Organisation.
The campaign organisation further said that those practitioners who attempted to defy the directive were threatened with revocation of operating licenses.
It added that the state advertising agency had proceeded to mount pressure on the outdoor practitioners in a bid to force them to remove existing Adeleke’s billboards and replace them with those of Oyetola.
Declaring readiness to legally resist all anti-democratic forces, the group called on the Advertising Practitioners’ Council of Nigeria
and other relevant regulatory agencies to take action on its allegations, adding that they portend danger to the peaceful conduct of the forthcoming governorship election.
The statement read in parts, “We are constrained to alert the Advertising Practitioners’ Council of Nigeria (APCON) and other regulatory agencies of the undemocratic and illegal blocking, removal, and non-approval of campaign billboards of Senator Ademola Adeleke in strategic areas of Osun state.
“We have it on good authority that the state advertising agency, O-Signage, has issued directives to outdoor advertising practitioners in the state not to accept any placement from the PDP Governorship Campaign Organisation. Practitioners who tried to defy the directive are threatened with revocation of operating licenses.
“The agency has proceeded further to pressure the outdoor practitioners to remove existing billboards of Senator Ademola Adeleke and replace them with that of Gboyega Oyetola. Aside from these invidious actions, political thugs have also been prompted to launch attacks on any billboards bearing Senator Adeleke’s posters across the state.”
But while responding to the allegations, Osun state commissioner for Political Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations, Taiwo Akeju, said Oyetola did not use any agency of government to stop the PDP from campaigning and asked the party to resolve its internal crises instead of making unsubstantiated allegations.
He said, “Oyetola is too democratic, too civil to have done that. They are not telling the truth. APCON should do its job, our O-Signage will also do its job. Regarding the destruction of posters or billboards, PDP should look for those behind such act within their party because they are still fighting over who will be candidate.”