Former governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja, has accused the incumbent Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of being hostile to the opposition political parties in the state.
In an interview with newsmen, at his Bodija residence in Ibadan, yesterday, Ladoja accused Ajimobi of using the state apparatus to either deface or remove billboards and posters of opposition parties across the state, ahead of the general elections.
He said removal or defacing of billboards, banners and posters of candidates of his party, Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), allegedly by the APC and the government, were more in Oyo South Senatorial District, adding that the purported hostile activities were carried out in places such as Oluyole Estate, Ring Road, Iyaganku, Akinyemi and Dugbe.
Ladoja alleged that Ajimobi has been using the Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency (OYSAA) to remove or deface promotion materials of ZLP, adding that the party paid specified fees to OYSAA before the billboards, banners and posters were put in the public space.
He noted that OYSAA Director General, Mr. Yinka Adepoju, was allegedly forced by Ajimobi to resign his appointment based on his refusal to use the instrumentalities of the agency to remove bill boards and banners of opposition parties across the state.
Ladoja, who commended Adepoju for upholding the tenets of advertising as a thoroughbred professional by throwing in the towel, instead of promoting unethical practices, said the ilk of Adepoju are needed for progress of the state, for having the guts to tell a sitting governor that he would not remove bill boards and banners of opposition political parties, because they duly paid into the coffers of the state government.
“Oyo State is fast declining into an empire, being ruled by emperor, where the will of the emperor is done and nothing happens. That is the attitude of the party that is in power. It has become irritable and aggressive.
“How do you explain that billboards and posters of opposition parties, particularly ZLP, are being removed, especially in Oyo South senatorial district, where the governor himself is contesting as a senator. That is intolerance.”
In a swift reaction, APC Publicity Secretary, Dr. Azeez Olatunde, described the allegation as a blatant lie.
“It is an allegation that has no empirical evidence. Let them show you the empirical evidence that they have been given approval to go and erect their billboards. It is then you can come up with the allegations,” he said.
“So, the allegations are wide ones, just to win sympathy of the public domain. So, they are unfounded, and baseless allegations. We challenge them to give you the receipt of payment and the approval letter given that they should erect their billboards in so and so places. Some people have no business in the business of election we want to do.