Tension in Ogun over removal of SDP billboards by Amosun’s government

Posted by News Express | 13 November 2014 | 4,184 times

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The removal of some giant billboards erected in some strategic areas across the state by the Ogun State Signage and Advertising Agency (OGSAA) has heightened tension between the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the new party of former governor of the state, Aremo Segun Osoba, and the government.

Osoba was the political godfather of Governor Ibikunle Amosun but the two later fell apart, culminating in Osoba’s recent defection to SDP with his followers.

The SDP has accused Governor Amosun of masterminding the act at Pakoto area of Sango, Sagamu Interchange and in Ijebu-Ode, among other areas.

It was gathered that the SDP had on Sunday erected giant billboards in Abeokuta and other parts of the state.

It was further gathered that, on Tuesday, operatives of OGSAA, backed by heavily-armed anti-riot policemen, tore down the billboards along the Abeokuta-Lagos Expressway and the Sagamu Interchange along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Addressing newsmen yesterday, at the location of the billboard at the Sagamu Interchange, Chairman of the SDP in the state, Chief Olu Agemo, and a Senator representing Ogun Central at the National Assembly, Senator Gbenga Obadara, condemned the action, saying it is politically motivated.

According to Agemo, “The billboards were mounted on Sunday. We know that we have paid the contractors, who might have paid for the signage and so, it’s surprising yesterday to discover that the billboards have been removed.

“This is unfortunate and we think that it must have been politically motivated because at least there must be about seven days grace for whoever mounts such a thing to go and pay for signage. So, that is the thinking of the party.”

Obadara, on his part, said the State Governor and his agents have commenced an act of unleashing terror on the people of the state ahead of 2015 elections.

The Senator said: “This is a provocative attack on our party, SDP, by agents of Ogun Governor, which is uncalled for. As good representatives of good people of the state, we will not in any way retaliate but we will not fold our hands to this unjust attitude and provocation of Ibikunle Amosun-led government.

“We do not expect the continuous tyrannical behaviour and unleashing of terror on us in SDP and we shall protect ourselves through the legal means as provided by the Constitution of the country.”

However, the state Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said: “There is an agency in charge of erection of billboards in the state. The question is whether the billboards were approved by the agency in charge.”

Also speaking on the development, the General Manager of OGSAA, Akinlabi Bamidele, said the agency had only carried out its statutory function devoid of any politics by removing the SDP billboards.

He explained that the agency had since July this year informed the various outdoor advertising agencies that it would no longer allow the seven days of grace it used to give them to settle payment for billboards.

“I’m sure you must have seen our people outside flushing even APC posters. So, we are not biased,” the GM said.

Adapted from a Vanguard report. Photo shows Aremo Segun Osoba and Governor Ibikunle Amosun during the good old days before they parted ways.

Source: News Express

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