The Alex Otti Campaign Council has raised alarn over the continuous destruction of campaign billboards and other campaign materials of their candidate,Dr Alex Otti.
Expressing their displeasure, the Council in a Press Conference held at the Alex Otti Campaign Secretariat in Umuahia, the Abia State capital and presided over by the Director General, Alex Otti Campaign Council,Hon Acho Obioma (CHOMEN), accused the PDP led government in Abia for being responsible for destroying their campaign billboards,even after the Council has successfully paid the sum of ten million naira to the Abia State Signage and Advertisement Agency (ABSAA).
In a Release issued at the end of the Press Conference, the DG Alex Otti Campaign Council, Hon Acho Obioma said the Labour party and its candidate had issued two different press statements few days ago, with the captions, “PDP Led Abia State Government Should Be Held Accountable,If There’s Breakdown Of Law And Order In Abia State” and “Restore Our Illegally Removed Campaign Billboard”.
The statements he said were sequel to violent attacks, intimidation of their members and destruction of the campaign billboards of Dr Alex Otti by tw PDP led government in Abia.
According to the Release, the press briefing became necessary when the PDP led government and her agents refused to listen to their appeals and halt its politics of hate and violence directed at the Alex Otti Campaign Council.However, they appeared to have gotten emboldened by our peaceful disposition, as they have carried out more onslaughts.
He added that the conference was called to directly address the press and millions of Abians,so that they would have the opportunity to know the whole truth.
The Campaign Council further stated that few days ago, the flex of their newly installed billboard around Umuikaa junction was allegedly removed by the Abia state government through the General Manager of Abia State Signage and Advertisement Agency, (ABSAA), Mr Anthony Otuonye, on the grounds that the PDP has no presence at the Umuikaa junction,thus,would not allow an opposition party to mount a billboard there.
“It’s important to note that our governorship candidate, Dr. Alex Otti paid Abia state government the statutory Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000) required from every governorship candidate.
“Because there wasn’t an already existing billboard there,we spent nothing less than Four Million naira (N4,000,000), to the vendor we contracted and the owner of the billboard who moved it all the way from Port Harcourt to Umuikaa junction. Even when we do not have need to use the said billboard for eight months(8months),we had to pay for that number of months for the owner to accept to deal with us on that particular billboard.
“The vendor also paid the said ABSAA General Manager the sum of One Million Two Hundred Thousand naira (1,200,000), which he collected and approved the installation of the billboard, before he turned around and removed it less that 48 hours after it had been installed.
“To justify his barbaric and provocative action, he falsely claimed that the vendor agreed to allow him use it for PDP campaign before he gave the approval. If one may ask, how can a vendor and billboard owner who were contracted and paid by a candidate who had earlier paid the government,turn around and to over their client’s billboard to the PDP because PDP is the ruling party?
“The ABSAA General Manager Anthony Otuonye displayed unbridled arrogance and primitive ego when he told us that the government would be angry if we were allowed to mount our billboard there. His utterances suggested that Abia state government belongs to the PDP led government and thus,no citizen is allowed to enjoy the democratic rights conferred on him by our laws.
“Mr. Anthony Otuonye the ABSAA General Manager threatened the life of our vendor and restated his avowed determination not to allow our billboard to be mounted there”,he said.
The Campaign DG noted that the council has already written to the Police and the Department of State Security (DSS), concerning the incident, stating that the DSS had repeatedly warned Mr. Otuonye against setting the state on fire through his actions and asked him to resolve the matter quickly by allowing the Otti Campaign Council mount their billboard which they paid for.
The Alex Otti Campaign Council further appealed to men of good conscience, Security agents and the Federal Government to intervene in the matter,as their patience and tolerance is not unlimited. “Therefore as bonafide Abians we would be left with the option of applying all legitimate measures to assert our rights which are being flagrantly violated by the government in power”.