The Anambra State Government has said it would not allow Senator Ifeanyi Ubah to flood the state with billboards, stating that the senator owes the state government over N40 million .
The Managing Director of Anambra State Signage and Advising Agency, Jude Emecheta stated this in a reaction to Ubah’s accusation that the state governor, Willie Obiano instructed thugs to destroy his( Ubah’s) billboards.
Emecheta who said Ubah was still owing the state over N40m on billboards advertisement for his 2019 Senatorial campaigns, said the state would not allow him to mount billboards indiscriminately.
While denying that the governor mobilised thugs to destroy Ubah’s billboards, Emecheta said the senator did not pay N10 to the agency for billboards as claimed in his online publication.
He said, “Ubah lied by saying he paid N10m to us. He can’t pay N10m to us and accept a receipt of N7.5m as he is circulating in the social media.
“Secondly, the governor did not ask anybody to destroy Ubah’s billboards. My governor doesn’t reason that way. In some states, the governor gave a standing other that the opposition should not be allowed to mount any billboards in the state. But here the governor does not care about such things.
“The issues is that Ubah lies to outdoor billboards advertisers who are handling his advertisements.
He told them that he would be mounting product adverts but will end up mounting political billboards which are costlier. Angered by such half disclosure, the owners of the billboads will go and dismantle such billboards. We don’t own billboards, we only regulate.
“Again, Ubah paid about N7.5m to us to mount 10 billboards but he ended up mounting over 19 billboards. We can’t allow that. About 28 governorship aspirants are contesting for space about placement of billboards, one man can’t flood the state with billboards and will not pay.
“We know Ubah’s antics. He want to capitalize on this false allegation to curry public sympathy and cause brigandage in the state.
Ubah had said the destruction of his billboards was because of the November 6 poll where he is contesting for the Governorship of the state on the platform of the Young Progressives Party.
He accused agents of the state government, acting on the instructions of the state governor, of perpetrating the destruction.
A statement from the senator’s media office read in part, “Reports coming early Sunday morning has it that Governor Obiano has ordered thugs accompanied by officials of Anambra Signage Agency to destroy billboards erected by Distinguished Senator Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah in several parts of the State.
“This is a very worrisome development, coming on the heels of security challenges being faced by the state, whereby unknown bandits are killing security personnels at check points and carting away their arms, which are clear signs of an emperor.
” Twelve bill boards which have been fully paid for, and erected in several locations across the state have been pulled down, on the orders of an obviously jittery state Government, that has failed in it’s duty and social contract to Ndi Anambra.
“They include 3 Faces at old Nkpor Junction, 1 Face at Savoil, Zik’s Round About, Onitsha, 2 Faces at Aroma, opposite Library, 2 Faces at Police headquarters Awka, 2 Faces at Immigration junction, Awka, and 2 Faces at Uga junction, Pedestrian cross.
“It is instructive to note that before embarking on the mounting of those billboards , we approached the Managing Director of Anambra State Signage and Advertisement Agency (ANSAA), Chief Jude Emecheta who personally gave us the breakdown of the bills to be paid and all these monies were fully paid and receipts issued.(Receipts attached).
“The question then becomes, why is Gov Obiano afraid of the Distingushed Senator Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, to the extent that he always singles him out for unprovoked attacks ?
“One may recall, that a similar incident transpired when the Senator moved to carry out road interventions in his senatorial district, in order to ease the free flow of movements durng the yuletide period. It took the intervention of the necessary federal government agencies as well as good spirited youths who came out and stood guard, as the contractors worked, for the state govt actors to beat a hasty retreat.
“Let it be on record that the state government by this act is introducing bitter politics into Anambra State, and all well meaning Stakeholders of the state must rise up and take a stand against this.
“Let it also be sounded as a note of warning that we may not be able to stop our teeming supporters from tearing down any signposts erected in place of the ones that we paid for, which are now being pulled down .The State Government should be held fully responsible for any breakdown of law and order that this irresponsible act triggers in the State.
“I challenge Mr. Jude Emecheta to explain to Ndi Anambra the rationale behind his dubious act of collecting levies accruing to almost ten million Naira, meant as taxes for the erection of those billboards and in a sudden volte face, ordered their dismantling, allegedly based on threats from the State Governor”.