By Harris-Okon Emmanuel
UYO—Barely a week after All Progressives Congress, APC, gave the Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Obong Nsima Ekere, the nod to contest September 29, 2018 governorship primaries, his campaign posters have flooded Uyo, the state capital and its environs.
Besides, magnificent and stunning billboards soliciting votes for him to emerge as the next governor of the oil-rich state with #Akawibomcandobetter have been erected in some strategic locations within the state capital.
But the state government through the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources has already moved against what it described as indiscriminate hoisting and installation of billboards in the state.
The state Commissioner for Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, Dr. Iniobong Essien, said the measure was aimed at ensuring sanity in outdoor advertising and directed all the companies to stop further hoisting of new billboards across the state.
The commissioner said: “In an effort to stem the arbitrary installation of billboard structures, which have become hazardous to members of the public, the Government of Akwa Ibom State, through Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, hereby directs all outdoor advertising companies to immediately stop the hoisting and installation of new billboards across the state.
“All outdoor advertising companies operating in the state are hereby requested to submit an inventory of their billboards with relevant registration, drawing and approval within one week from the date of this announcement. Failure to comply will attract appropriate sanction.”
Reacting, a source in Nsima Ekere Campaign Organisation, who spoke on condition of anonymit, alleged that the state government was jittery about Obong Ekere’s entry into the governorship race and was bringing up the “obnoxious and discriminatory policy to forestall the mounting of new billboards by political opponents with a view to scuttling their campaigns.”