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2023: Political parties, candidates trade words over destruction of campaign billboards in Oyo [PHOTOS]

Political parties and their candidates in Oyo State are currently battling an incessant destruction of billboards.

This has been attributed to suspected political thugs.

Though no one has been arrested over the destruction of the billboards across the state, our correspondent gathered that the trend has continued to generate controversy among political parties and their candidates across the state.

DAILY POST reports that there are currently 33 constitutionally recognised local government areas spread across five geo-political zones.

The zones consist of Ibadan, which has 11 local government areas, Oke-Ogun with 10 local government areas, Ogbomoso with five local government areas, Oyo with four local government areas and Ibarapa, with three local government areas.

Eighteen political parties are contesting different positions at the state and national levels.

DAILY POST investigation revealed that most of these political parties and their candidates have had their share and have experienced or recorded one incident of billboard destruction or the other.

No fewer than ten cases of destruction of billboards had been recorded in the last two months.

Prominent cases were recorded in the last two.

The increase in the rate may not be unconnected with the commencement of presidential and national assembly campaigns, which started two weeks ago.

Some of the political parties and candidates that have experienced or have had their billboards vandalised by the suspected political thugs are the major opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC); ruling party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

These political parties have raised the alarm over the destruction of their billboards.

The political parties expressed mixed feelings over those responsible for the destruction.

While the PDP has continued to blame the major opposition party, APC, for vandalising its billboards, the opposition parties such as APC, SDP, and NNPP have continued to blame the members of the ruling party for the destruction of their billboards.

Era of brigandage and violence has returned to Oyo – APC

The APC, in its reaction noted that many of the billboards that belonged to its members had been destroyed.

The party noted that what is happening has shown that era of brigandage and violence has returned to the state.

Publicity Secretary of APC, Olawale Sadare, in a statement made available to journalists, accused Governor Seyi Makinde of creating an enabling environment for miscreants and thugs to operate freely in the state.

He alleged that some of the billboards of the party erected in major areas such as Iwo Road, Agodi-Gate, Ojoo, Challenge, Ife Road, Mokola-UI Road, and Monatan-Olodo in Ibadan, the state capital, had been destroyed.

He alleged that “For some time now, certain disgruntled elements in the society have made it a duty to pounce on any outdoor advertising material such as billboards, signboards, posters, etc. seen around with the inscription of any other political party apart from the PDP and destroy them under 24 hours in most cases.

“The same PDP thugs accost and harass every innocent person who is found to be putting on a vest, t-shirt, cap or hand band with the inscription or logo of the APC or any other opposition party, especially on the streets of Ibadan- the state capital.

“It is a fact that the era of brigandage and violence which was returned to Oyo state in May 2019 when the current PDP administration took over from a no-nonsense late Sen. Abiola Ajimobi”.

Hoodlums destroyed my billboard, do the needful, arrest perpetrators – SDP candidate tells security agents

A House of Representatives candidate in Ibadan North East/ Ibadan South East federal constituency on the Social Democratic Party (SDP) platform, Hon. Deji Aboderin, has advised security agents to arrest political hoodlums who have been destroying billboards across the state.

Aboderin made this disclosure while reacting to the recent destruction of his billboard by some suspected political thugs in Ibadan.

Our correspondent learnt that the billboard situated at Challenge Round About was destroyed recently.

The billboard was erected a few days after the commencement of the presidential and national assembly campaign.

Aboderin who spoke with DAILY POST, called the security agencies’ attention to the incident.

He said, “My billboard was destroyed at Challenge Round About in the early hours of today in the night.

“The role of the government is to protect the lives and property of the people, but at the moment, they are not being protected.

“Some people went ahead to destroy my billboard. That is injustice.

“So, I am calling the attention of the security agencies to be aware of this incident. We don’t want this to continue”.

APC destroying our billboards because of Makinde’s achievements – PDP

Our correspondent also found out that the PDP has had its own share of the ugly experience.

Publicity Secretary of PDP, Engineer Akeem Olatunji, while reacting said that some billboards of the ruling party had been destroyed.

He alleged that the APC was responsible for the destruction of the billboards erected by the party.

Olatunji argued that the APC is destroying PDP billboards because of the achievements of the state governor, Seyi Makinde.

He alleged that a recent billboard erected by the party opposite Muslim Grammar School, the Muslim area of Oluyole, Ibadan, has been destroyed by APC members.

Olatunji maintained that the opposition party members were seen by some residents of the area who could not stop them for fear of being attacked by the APC members.

Olatunji called on the Commissioner of Police in the state, Adebowale Williams, and the Department of State Security Services to intervene.

He said, “There have been several recorded vandalization of our party’s billboards at different locations and times, but we decided to handle matters internally and more peacefully, but it appears they are mistaking our civil and peaceful disposition to cowardice.

“We know who APC as lies disseminating body of desperate politicians with the sole mandate of telling lies, more lies, and so much more lies to force mischiefs and false propaganda down the throats of unsuspecting members of the public.

“It is obvious that Seyi Makinde’s unrivaled success and achievements in less than four years across all sectors have become a nightmare for these political desperados in their bid to gain access to the Agodi Government House.

“We condemn in the strongest term, the vandalization of our party’s billboard at Muslim Grammar School among others and warn Folarin’s apologists as well as ill-trained political neophytes in the state chapter of the APC to desist forthwith any act of attack.”

2023: Political parties, candidates trade words over destruction of campaign billboards in Oyo [PHOTOS]

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