All candidates for the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Anambra State are to pay the sum N9 million each to the state government’s treasury before putting up any campaign posters or risk prosecution in court.
Chief Jude Emecheta, MD, Anambra State Signage and Advertisement Agency (ANSAA),while revealing this in a chat with newsmen, in Awka, yesterday, clarified that each individual aspirant will pay N3 million for their posters in each of the three senatorial zones, making it N9 million per head.
Emecheta noted that the law did not permit pasting posters without authorization, and also stated that the agency needed money to clean up the mess generated by such posters after the elections.
He said that the association was interested in not only the outdoor adverts but also in ensuring that such election posters and other campaign materials did not deface strategic locations in the state.
Emecheta also disclosed that a public enlightenment on the modalities for putting up election posters would commence from February this year to let politicians know that they could not paste election posters on such places as public buildings, electric poles, bridges, road dividers, roundabouts and others, adding that the agency would direct politicians and their supporters on where to paste election materials in the state.
He reiterated that politicians who wished to put up billboards must go through registered advertising agencies domiciled in the state, making it clear that no poster or election material of the incumbent governor would be pasted without payment.
But in a swift reaction, the Progressives People’s Alliance Party (PPA) has kicked against the directive describing it as a sign that the government will use its machinery to suppress other contenders in the forthcoming polls.
Chairman of PPA in the state, Chief Mathias Ameke, however, dismissed the claim that Governor Obiano who is seeking re-election would also pay the money.
He alleged that with this action, the public has been put on notice that Anambra State Government does not want healthy competition in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
His words, “Fixing of outrageous fees for party candidates publicity is a sign of government resentment for popular participation in the coming poll and it is unacceptable and reprehensible too. Government insistence on this wicked regulation is a recipe for people’s resistance which PPA shall be part of. Autocratic leadership is no more in vogue and there is no need to use state resources to fight people instead of making their lives better “he said.