The Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) has told political parties and politicians in Nigeria not to deface the city with their campaign posters ahead of 2019 general elections.
The AMMC Coordinator, Mr Umar Shuiabu stated this when he led a strong FCTA team to the national Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, in Abuja.
Mr Shuiabu explained that the aimed of the visit was to sensitize them on the need to desist from pasting posters on public facilities, such as buildings, walls, signage and others.
“The FCTA built this city and we are managing it amidst scare resources; but the residents are not helping us as they should. So as we are approaching campaign period, the posting of posters will likely increase. That is why we have embarked on this campaign to try and stop it, or at least reduce it to the barest minimum.
“We (APC) have to show example for others to follow. As the party in power, we need it to lead the campaign against indiscriminate pasting of posters in Abuja”, he added.
Presenting a copy of guideline on the placement of outdoor electioneering campaign materials in the FCT, he announced that penalty for violating this guideline was one million for an organization and N100, 000 for an individual; including payment for the removal of those posters.
On his part the Director, Department of Outdoor Advertising and Signage (DOAS), Yusuf Ibrahim Yakassai, under whose office lays the responsibility of tackling the poster issue, reiterated that placement of posters on public buildings in the FCT is totally illegal and unacceptable.
The Cordinator who urged the politicians and political parties to use the bill boards and other legally allowed means, he noted that using bill boards would also give them more mileage, even as he advised them to strictly abide by the guidelines or contact DOAS for further information.
Earlier, the Chairman All progressives Congress, APC, who was represented by Director of Administration in the party secretariat, Abdullahi Y. Gashu’a, assured the AMMC that he would convey the message to the party at its forthcoming National Working Committee meeting for onward sensitization.
The guideline says that, “political parties, groups, party agents, supporters, campaign organizations, outdoor advertising agents, political aspirants, individuals and their cronies, are to note that political campaign posters and billboards must only be placed or deployed on authorized and approved campaign billboards or existing sites owned and operated by qualified and DOAS-certified registered outdoor advertising practitioners.
“Posters, flyers and handbills must not be pasted on public utility structures such as street lamp poles, transformers, road directional signs, milestones, electric poles and bridges, etc”, he emphasized.
Other provisions in the guidelines include: “political organizations, parties/candidates, outdoor advertisers and members of the public are warned to desist from indulging in illegal and un-authorized placement of political campaign banners, flexes and handbills in Abuja.
According to him, “Banners, flexes and handbills and other below-the-line advert campaign materials must not be placed or posted on bridges, flyovers, pedestrian walk-ways, private and public buildings, highways, streets corners, walls, public squares, avenues, inner roads or crescents, and other unauthorized public spaces without the authorization or approval or DOAS, FCTA.”
The document, signed by the DOAS Director, ends with note that enforcement of the guideline was “devoid of sentiments or prejudices against any political party, group or political aspirant, as DOAS is a responsible and non-partisan regulatory body, determined to provide equity and level playing fields for all stakeholders, without compromising its statutory obligations towards ensuring environmental sustainability in the FCT.”
The visit was the second in the series. The first point of call by the AMMC for the campaign was the Labour Party (LP).