Olumide Osaigbovo Akpata, the gubernatorial candidate for the Labour Party, has expressed grave concern regarding the systematic dismantling of his billboards throughout the state, with a particular focus on Benin City.

The suspected perpetrators behind this destruction are believed to be agents of the Edo state government.

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During a press conference held in Benin, Akpata passionately denounced these acts as a deliberate attack on his constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of speech, political expression, and the core principles of democracy.

Under the title “Pulling Down of My Billboards by Agents of Governor Obaseki: The Clouds Are Gathering,” Akpata vehemently criticized the incumbent administration for resorting to such desperate, undemocratic measures in an attempt to undermine his campaign and silence the voices of the people.

Akpata highlighted the coordinated and premeditated nature of these assaults on his constitutional rights.

He revealed that billboards, which he had lawfully acquired and installed across Benin City, were targeted by agents of the Local Government Areas under the jurisdiction of Governor Godwin Obaseki.

In one instance, two billboards were viciously vandalized and torn down in Oredo Local Government Area, accompanied by explicit threats of further removals.

Similar acts of mindless destruction were witnessed in Ovia North East, where two more billboards bearing Akpata’s image and campaign messages were callously destroyed by these anti-democratic elements.

Additionally, Akpata’s campaign team received clear and unambiguous threats that their billboards in Ikpoba Okha would also be targeted for elimination.

It is essential to emphasize that these actions are not indicative of a democratic government confident in its mandate, popular support, and track record of achievements.

Akpata firmly asserted that these destructive tactics are instead the desperate measures employed by an intolerant regime, fearful of the winds of change blowing through the state.

Such actions reflect the regime’s apprehension towards the people’s growing desire for a new direction, a fresh vision, and a progressive and inclusive era of governance.

By resorting to the wanton destruction of campaign materials, which had been legally and legitimately acquired through hard-earned resources, Governor Obaseki and his associates have unequivocally demonstrated their disdain for divergent voices, differing opinions, and the fundamental principles of pluralism that lie at the heart of any genuine democracy.

Akpata further observed that this reprehensible behavior lays bare the state’s contempt for the rights and freedoms that countless Nigerians have fought, bled, and died for, Saying, “By their actions, they have demonstrated callous disregard for the rule of law, due process, and the sanctity of our democratic institutions”.