BY TIMOTHY AGBOR
With a view to ensuring hitch-free, level-playing ground, sanity and protect the environment from defilement before, during and after the November 11, 2023 governorship election in Kogi State, the State Signage and Advertisement Agency has issued some guidelines on the use of campaign materials.
According to a statement signed on Tuesday by the General Manager of the agency, Osaseyi Richard, all political parties, gubernatorial candidates, politicians and supporters are to abide by the guidelines.
The agency noted that the development is in accordance with its mandate to control and regulate advert displays in the State, as provided under Section 5(1)(a-o) of the Kogi State Signage and Advertisment Law, 2022.
While warning that defaulters, or anyone involved in any form of impunity, lawlessness in the deployment of political campaign materials would be made to face the consequences of their actions, the agency banned campaign posters of all candidates in Lokoja metropolis, Kabba/Bunu, ljumu, Yagba West, Ankpa, Idah, Ayingba, Adavi, Okene and Okehi towns.
KOSSAA disclosed that it was poised to assisting all political parties, politicians, and supporters in ensuring hitch-free and level playing ground in the use of political campaign and advertising materials in the State and strongly urged everyone to comply with the guidelines to ensure sanity and to protect the environment from defilement, visual blight and other adverse effects of uncontrolled deployment and display of political campaign materials within the State before, during and after the poll.
“These guidelines are issued without prejudice to any political party, association or Candidate as it is the Agency’s intention to ensure fairness among all participants while judiciously performing its duties and applying the rules without sentiment or bias.
“The following are the guidelines as they apply to all Political parties before, during and after the November 11, 2023 Gubernatorial elections in Kogi State.
“Political Campaign Materials on billboards may be deployed on existing structures owned and operated by outdoor advertising practitioners who are duly registered with the Agency and have obtained permits for such sites and structures.
“Each billboard erected must be made of standard and sturdy materials to ensure they do not fall or block the roads or constitute risk to Citizenry and commuters.
“Posters must not be pasted on public utility structures such as Street lamps, poles, Transformers, the Ganaja fly-over and other unauthorized surfaces except as duly authorized by the Agency upon payment of relevant fees.
“In addition to the sum of N5,000,000.00 fee payment to the Agency by Political Parties wishing to deploy campaign materials within the State, each billboard erected by Parties, Candidates or Supporters attracts fee of N2,000,000.00
“The sum of N1,000,000.00 will be charged as fee payable to the Agency by Political Parties for every banner displayed in public places.
“A refundable Caution fee of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira only) shall be charged by the Agency for the deployment of all campaign materials before, during and after the election.
“Campaign posters of all Candidates are hereby banned in the following parts of Kogi State: Lokoja Metropolis, Kabba/Bunu, ljumu, Yagba West, Ankpa, Idah, Ayingba, Adavi, Okene, Okehi.
“All Political parties and Candidates must remove the campaign materials not more than Ten (10) days after the Gubernatorial elections on November 11, 2023.
“Parties, Candidates and Supporters must refrain from the use of unsavory languages on opponents and to be mindful of the contents of their campaign materials.
“Please note that all Participants are strongly advised to adhere strictly to these guidelines as defaulters, or anyone involved in any forms of impunity, lawlessness in the deployment of political campaign materials will be made to face the consequences of their actions,” the statement read.