By Abuchi Onwumelu
Recently, a section of the media was awash with allegations by the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District, Sen. Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, that Anambra State Government officials were seen pulling down billboards he paid for.
But speaking to Fides in Awka, the Managing Director/CEO of Anambra State Signage and Advertisement Agency, Chief Jude Emecheta, said the agency did not deal with individuals but advertising firms.
Sir Emecheta pointed out that when Sen Ubah called him concerning the billboards, he redirected him to seek for advert companies which the agency could interface with.
‘Billboards are managed by advertisement companies with strict supervision by ANSAA to avoid cluster and encumbrances.
‘So, when the firms Dr. Ubah contracted came to the agency for approval, they paid for ten adverts and we approved the advertorials but the senator went against the agreed number and erected more than 10.
‘We have requested the agents to come with their manifest and show us where all the boards are and there locations for inspection
‘The board by Nkpor Old Rd is owned by ESMIC LTD. NUMAC is in charge of the Bridge Panel between Upper Iweka and Bridge Head. We have an agreement with them and they complied. You can verify,’ he said.
He continued, ‘Again, in front of the state library, Marketing and Media manages the board there and we had an agreement with them that the place approved for them could not be used to run opposition adverts inside a government institution. Dr. Ubah never mentioned to them that he was putting up a political advert.
‘Global Outdoor by Police Headquarters, Awka, has an outstanding issue with us, so no advert can run there for now.
‘Rokana by Savoy, Onitsha, is owing the agency. All Rokana billboards are encumbered. No advert can run in their boards until we settle with them.
‘By Immigration, all the billboards there were destroyed by miscreants. Even our own billboard was also affected. We don’t destroy anybody’s billboard. We don’t deal with individuals but advert firms,’ he stated.
Speaking further, the Managing Director said that the Senator still had outstanding issues with the agency following advertorials he used during his 2019 Anambra South Senatorial Election.
‘We don’t want to run the same scenario we had with him during his senatorial campaign. Senator Ubah paid for only few political adverts but went ahead to flood the whole senatorial district with campaign/political posters. The agency billed him and sent the details to him. Till date, he’s yet to clear same. We cannot tolerate that again,’ the MD declared.
Chief Emecheta warned other persons seeking to govern Anambra to always follow due process and avoid shortcuts.