Ex Ebonyi SSG Wants Police To Investigate Removal, Destruction Of Billboard
From Beverly Egwu,
The former Secretary to the Ebonyi state government and the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance(APGA) Prof Benard Odoh Tuesday called on the commissioner of police, Ebonyi state headquarters to investigate the removal and destruction of the campaign billboards belonging to the party in the state capital.
Odoh in a statement signed and made available to journalists in Abakaliki the capital city of Ebonyi state alleged that the All Progressive Congress(APC) had approached the company that hanged the advert board (ROCANA)
wanting to take over the space. But the failure of the company to oblige the party made the state government to rather devised means of destroying the APGA billboards in the state.
This is even as Odoh called on the leading party, APC and other political parties to embark on issue-based campaign.
The statement reads in part, “The genesis of the mindless attacks on our billboards which occurred last night, Sunday, August 21, 2022 (because we saw it still hanging hours after the professional handlers, Rocana Nigeria Ltd had hung them) was that the State government, obviously jittery of the momentum gained by our consultative engagements in the State so far pasted a “Remove Ads” notices on them.
“The “Remove Ads” was a result of our advertising handlers’ refusal to surrender the billboards which we had already paid for to the APC Candidate who had earlier requested them at all cost.
Rocana is not in any way and form owing to the state government.
“As law-abiding citizens who understand the place of professional engagements in matters such as this, it was only incumbent that we reach out and inform the advertising agency- Rocana, which has professionally operated in the state and the entire southeast in the last few decades about the “remove ads,” notices placed by the Ebonyi State Government on the billboards with its official seal. They promised to reach the state government and get back to us as soon as practicable.
“Some hours after, we discovered that the billboards have already been torn and removed forcefully, suspected by desperate agents of the state government.
Some of the billboards are still hanging, facing downwards and there has been no explanation offered by the professional advertising agent- Rocana who has maintained that it has been paying the Ebonyi State Government its taxes, dues, and other rates as and when due. This to us is an act of cowardice by Governor Umahi and his army of political bandits. To prove our fears and suspicion right about the ill-intentions of these dastard and coward actors, we discovered that other places where the same Rocana had billboards of other products were not touched and neither were the same “remove ads” notices placed on them.
“At this juncture, it behooves us and the entire APGA family as responsible, peace-loving, and law-abiding political party and citizens too;
“Request the authorities of the Nigerian Police Force, Ebonyi State Command to immediately commence investigations, arrest, and prosecute those suspected to be behind this unlawful conduct. The police must leave no stone unturned in this regard least they set a wrong example.
“Sound this as the last warning note to the government and its agents, particularly its multiple armed thugs masquerading as ‘Ebubeagu’ to desist from, I emphasize; avoid being used under any guise or platform to attack APGA campaign materials, members or supporters. The consequences of any such further attack on the party- campaign materials or humans and the opposition in Ebonyi, in general, would not be “Tolerated”
“The youths, whose future and destinies, including those of their children and wards, have been destroyed by the inhuman actions and policies of the present-day government should remember that “when the chips are down, their oppressive ’emperor’ would take the next available flight to the countries they have already stashed enough of our collective wealth and resources and abandon them to their fate to sort themselves out”
“And for the Umahi-led government which has continued to live in cowardice thinking it can perpetually keep the opposition parties in suspended terror to intimidate the electorates into abandoning their civic obligations, we wish to posit that the resoluteness of the APGA family and indeed, the entire Ebonyi electorates to not only canvass support for their genuinely preferred candidates, vote and defend same in next year’s general elections is even now, most unwavering. Their actions are rather emboldening Ebonyians from across all works of life to ensure that a government that would guarantee the rights to their freedoms as enshrined in our various laws emerge victorious at the polls next year. This is more audacious because there’s often a limit to which a person can endure pains!
“As they plan to instigate crises and unleash terror on the electorates as that is all they allegedly boast of during their secret meetings, the government should remember first and foremost that the oath it swore to protect the lives and property of all Ebonyians according to the 1999 Constitution (as amended) have not and will not expire till the 29th day of May 2023 when it shall handover to a newly elected government. More so is the fact that they have no monopoly on violence!
As I will always say: what lies ahead of us are far greater than what is behind us”. End