Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The war against indiscriminate posting and erection of campaign materials ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State has assumed a messier dimension with the Bayelsa State government issuing a 48-hour ultimatum for the removal of all campaign posters and billboards in the state.
The state government also took a swipe at former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and governorship aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Mr Timi Alaibe, over the reaction of his campaign organisation to a directive by the executive secretary of the Physical Planning and Development Control, Ebi Waribigha on the issue of campaign posters in the state.
In a statement by the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Ebipatei Apaingolo, the state government gave a 48-hour ultimatum to all gubernatorial aspirants of the People’s Democratic Party, the All Progressives Congress and other political parties to comply with the rules and regulations guiding the erection of campaign posters in the state.
Apaingolo who directed the relevant agencies to pull down all such campaign posters and billboards adorning the streets of Yenagoa without complying with the laws of the state within 48 hours said that it was compulsory for all the aspirants aspiring to govern the state without any exception to show a good example by obeying the laws of the state.
He said that those who must erect campaign posters at conspicuous spots in the city and other parts of the state should approach the relevant agencies such as Physical Planning & Development Control to fulfill the requisite conditions prescribed by the existing laws.
Apaingolo, reacting to a claim by Alaibe, that his posters were being pulled down by agencies of government, said Alaibe and his team neither contacted nor paid any fee for the posters as required by law.
He expressed shock that an aspirant of the PDP who seeks to govern the state would rush to attack the government of his party over his own failure to approach the agencies to make the requisite payment for the erection of such campaign posters in the city.
He said that, by his actions, Alaibe had shown the Nigerian public that he was in the governorship contest with the sinister motive to cause confusion and destabilise the state.
He said that recent activities of the former NDDC MD had revealed that he was in cahoots with enemies of the government to promote acts of destabilisation against the state.
Apaingolo maintained further that Alaibe had erected his campaign posters all over Yenagoa without making any payment to the agencies in an outright violation of the laws guiding the construction of campaign posters on billboards.