From JOHN SILAS LAGOS.
PDP Governorship Candidate for Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, has described as false the claims by the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASSAA) that his publicity boards were destroyed because he failed to secure permit to erect them.
Describing as curious the agency’s claim to have destroyed the boards for not securing the supposed permit, he wondered why it had in the same breath spoken of granting blanket “waivers” for the display of political A-boards and posters.
According to him, the advertising public knew that for billboards, certain sums were paid for LASSAA permit, which did not apply to lightweight temporary political materials like posters and A-boards.
The LASSAA Chief Executive, Mr. Mobolaji Sanusi, had explained the rationale for destroying Agbaje’s advert materials during a meeting convened today by the Lagos Police Commissioner, Mr. Edgal Imohimi, for political stakeholders at Ikeja.
Representing Agbaje at the meeting was his Running Mate, Mrs. Haleemat Busari.
Agbaje said: “Contrary to what the Managing Director of LASAA, Mobolaji Sanusi, said, we insist that the destruction of our A-frame posters on Third Mainland Bridge is politically motivated.”
“We also challenge LASSAA boss, Mustapha Sanusi, to tell the whole world if hostage-taking and kidnapping constitutes part of their operations.
“One of our deployment boys was in the night of last weekend abducted on the Third Mainland Bridge, until the police rescued him from his adductors’ vehicle whisking him away.”
Accusing the official of outright falsehood, Agbaje wondered why it took LASSAA so long to respond to the widespread outcry and condemnation that greeted the demolition and confiscation of tens of his mounted boards.
In the words of Agbaje: “Clearly, this defence being put up by the agency is a featherweight afterthought meant to justify their resort to perfidy against a perceived opposition. And anyway, why would a state-owned Agency resort to using thugs in its operations?
“Even if we violated any law, which we did not, does that justify why the agency littered the expressway with our boards and endanger motorists driving through the road? Is LASSAA enforcing regulations by throwing boards down and destroying them? Is that why they have been harassing and assaulting our deployment team all over the place? Why should a civil service agency go about in the witching hours of the night to destroy publicity materials of the opposition?”
According to Agbaje, the agency’s conduct reflected the impunity that Lagos needed to liberate itself from at the coming 2019 elections.