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.
Peoples Democratic Party’s Governorship Campaign Organisation 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. Practitioners who tried to defy the directive are threatened with revocation of operating licences. 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, these invidious actions, political thugs have also been prompted to launch attacks on any bill boards bearing Senator Adeleke’s posters across the state.
According to a release signed by Olawale Rasheed, the Director, Media & Strategy, Osun PDP Governorship Campaign Organisation stated that “The above dictatorial conduct is in clear contravention of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice and an evident breach of the act setting up the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). Level playing field for all clients is a mandatory provision in the APCON Act and the Nigerian constitution guarantees equal access to public display of messages within the ambit of the law. O’Signage is not only setting a dangerous precedent but is acting in wanton disregard of the Constitution and relevant advertising laws in the country.”
“We wonder what the Oyetola administration is afraid of by stifling equal access for advertising. If the state government is truly committed to democratic norms, why is it scared of the people getting and consuming alternative messages under the electoral system? We assure the Governor that no amount of blockages and restriction of democratic space will stop the people of Osun state from having their say”.
The people are tired of governance deceit, cluelessness in public initiatives and abysmal failure to deliver on good governance. It is therefore not surprising that the state government is worried about the huge public goodwill and acceptability of Senator Ademola Adeleke, hence the shameful and crude act of stopping PDP billboards.
“We call on APCON and relevant regulatory agencies to take directive action on the illegal conduct of the Osun state government and the danger it portends for peaceful democratic conduct of the July 16th governorship election. We will take all necessary legal and democratic steps to secure our democratic rights to campaign and present our candidate to the people of Osun state. We shall legally resist all anti-democratic forces. The will of the people must prevail. This is not 2018,” Rasheed stressed.