Sen. Umeh Chides Soludo For Destroying Campaign Billboards
Sen. Victor Umeh, candidate of the Labour Party for Anambra Central Senatorial District has described as illegal and unfortunate the removal of his campaign billboards by Anambra government.
Umeh who spoke at a media briefing in Awka on Tuesday said the billboards were duly paid for and signage fee paid to the government by the outdoor company handling the space.
Labour Party campaign billboards on the pedestrian bridge at Unizik Junction, Awka on the Enugu-Onitsha expressway were on Jan. 14 removed and replaced with that of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
He said the space in question became vacant in December and the outdoor advertising company managing it contacted him to inform that it was available for sale
Umeh said he entered negotiation with the company and they agreed for N1 millions for both sides which he paid and had his campaign billboards erected on Dec. 24.
“We do not have any problem with the Anambra government, what you see is all politics but we are surprised it will come to the level of removing our lawfully hoisted billboard and replacing it with their own which says Anambra is APGA land.
“That pedestrian bridge over the expressway is not the property of Anambra state, Mr Peter Obi built that bridge when he was the governor and the Federal government fully reimbursed the state, i waa in the state when it was paid.
“So, it is unfortunate, it is unlawful because there is an existing contract and even if the government considered the space very strategic, I paid for it,” he said.
Umeh said he had no regrets for supporting Prof. Chukwuma Soludo to become governor of Anambra and that he did not intend to seek legal redress on the matter but had abandoned his fate to God.
He said the action was arbitrary and in defiance to the tenets to the rule of law under democracy.
According to him, my right had been infringed upon and the election is just to about six weeks away, so going to Court will amount to distraction, I have decided to run to God for protection while waiting for the advertising agency to give me update because I am actually a third party in that contract.
“I am not bothered, i am not discouraged, I have gone through persecution and such things do not weigh me down, it is just a ploy to put a setback on what I am doing but i will not allow them distract me, billboard will not determine who wins,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gov. Soludo had said it did not order for the removal of any political candidate’s billboards in Anambra state and that only the Anambra Signage and Advertisement Agency (ANSAA) had regulatory powers over billboards.