Edo govt dismisses report that Obaseki banned opposition from using Billboard

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The Edo State government has denied reports that Governor Obaseki banned billboard owners from accepting adverts promoting opposition parties in the state.

The government, through its Deputy Director, Media and Publicity for the Edo Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Management Council and Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, described the report as "false and the handiwork of mischief makers."

Briefing journalists in Benin City on Wednesday, 26 October 2022, Nehikhare said Godwin Obaseki is not "unreasonable in his approach to governance by withholding opportunities for a proper democratic process," adding that "freedom is given to the opposition to express themselves in Edo."

Explaining, Nehikhare said the Edo government planned headed by paying "billboard agents ahead of the official kick-off of campaigns."

Godwin Obaseki
Godwin Obaseki

According to the Commissioner, "As far back as a few months ago, Edo State Government discussed with all billboard owners to make payment for quite a number of billboards in the Benin metropolis."

“We did not take possession because we were waiting for the campaign to kick off, and if anybody has gone to a billboard agent to pay for a billboard, the person who pays first and is given a date for when his account will start to run is actually the legal owner of that billboard," Nehikhare told journalists.

He continued: “We, as a party, raised the money for these billboards, so they are a property of the Edo PDP. We were more strategic in planning and took advantage of the time to make payments for most of the billboards. If a billboard agent has taken money from you and cannot post your advert, you should go back and get your money because we paid for them. We have no apologies to anyone who didn't have the foresight to do it.”

Nehikhare faulted those carrying "sensational headlines," describing it as "embarrassing."

The government said such an undemocratic move may have happened in Lagos State "but can't happen in Edo State."

"We do not own billboards; we are not agents of billboards. What we do is have policies in place to ensure they are not causing a nuisance in our street by controlling where the billboards are located.

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