The Jimi Agbaje Campaign Organisation has cried out over the continuous vandalisation of its campaign posters, materials and billboards by suspected agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the state government.
According to the Director of Media and Publicity of the campaign organisation, Ms. Modupe Ogunbayo, “The clandestine methods of removing campaign posters and political party signs of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, have confirmed the APC ill motive to ensure that there is no level playing field.
“As the members of the public know, the PDP has on several occasions been victims at the barbaric hands of miscreants who have vandalised no less than 3,000 billboards and campaign materials in primed areas such as the Third Mainland bridge; and have also enjoyed continued support from the members of the ruling APC. The support received in the execution of these unlawful acts from the government led by the APC is evidenced by the surreptitious release of culprits without sanction, including officials within the Lagos State Structures for Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA), apprehended for these crimes.”
Ogunbayo lamented that this act has led to an increase in the unlawful activities, which have now been reported to be prevalent in over 35 constituencies across Lagos State. “Is this how the APC intends to conduct elections-by stifling the opposition?” She queried.
According to her, “Despite the best efforts of the state Police Commissioner towards thwarting these illegal activities, the members of the ruling APC have devised other surreptitious strategies all in an attempt to silence and emasculate any opposition to their ‘anointed’ candidate for the position of governor of state.
“The continued use of state apparatus and resources to fund the political campaign of the APC’s candidate and the excessive use of federal might in a local election are few out of the many instances of the ruling party’s arbitrary exercise of state power. Lagosians will not be cowed. The peoples of the state would not be intimidated.
“In a true democracy, one of the core tenets is the existence of a level playing field for every party without fear or favour. Every citizen should be afforded the opportunity to consider the alternatives and not to be forced into making a decision. The acts by the ruling party are akin to a dictatorship aimed at oppressing the law-abiding members of the PDP who do not possess the political might and/or the financial exuberance of the APC.”
The campaign organisation reiterated the need to stand against what it called tyranny. “We refuse to be silent and will not be oppressed or suppressed into a corner. It is time to deliver our great state from the shackles of bondage and deliver freedom to its people who have been held bound under the whims and caprices of select individuals who have monopolised the resources of the state and accumulated public funds for their private benefit.
“We are undeterred by the illegal activities of the APC, and are assured that the wheels of justice, though slow, will eventually turn in the right direction, and the will of the good people of Lagos State will prevail,” it concluded.