The governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has banned owners of billboards in the state from working on ad campaigns for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC)
The prohibition was revealed to reporters on Tuesday night in Benin City by Mr. Ibrahim Momoh, a member of the Edo Billboards’ Association. NewsReport gathered.
Momoh noted that the governor even threatened to confiscate the billboard of anyone who disregards the directive.
When contacted, the State Director, of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Abdul Hakeem Tiamiyu, said he got the same complaints from a billboard owner.
Tiamiyu who promised to make further investigation told Tribune Online that APCON as a body is different from billboard owners.
He explained that while the job of billboard owners is to erect adverts on billboards, APCON regulates advertising content in order to ensure conformity with the guiding regulations.
“I have heard the same complaints from billboard owners that Edo State Government has warned them not to erect any billboard from APC.
“I will carry more investigation on this because should this be true, it is quite unfortunate.
“Ours (APCON), is to regulate the content of every advert to ensure it does not fall foul of the law. We don’t erect billboards.”
Also confirming the development on phone, the Assistant Secretary, Billboard Owners Association, Edo State chapter, Mr. Precious Otameh, confirmed the report to Tribune Online.
He said: “A message came from Edo State Government House telling us not to accept Adverts from APC and other opposition parties in the state.
“We have been waiting for them for guidelines till this moment. They keep telling us not to erect any advert billboard from any opposition party until further notice.”
Reacting, Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Mr. Chris Nekhihare, said the state government has paid for the billboards in advance, knowing elections are coming.
When asked if his explanation suggests no more space for other parties to erect their campaign billboard, Nekhihare explained that all he knows is that the state government paid for many billboard spaces in advance because it knows the election is coming.