2023: NNPP Laments Destruction Of Opposition Campaign Billboards In Borno
By Abdulkareem Haruna
The opposition New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in Borno state has called on the state governor, Babagana Zulum to order the supporters of his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), to stop the attack on the opposition campaign billboards in the state.
NNPP has at the weekend alleged that 16 of its billboards have been destroyed by agents of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
This allegation was contained in a statement shared with Premium Times by officials of the party.
The ruling APC has however denied involvement in the alleged hostility against rival political parties in the state.
But according to state chairman of NNPP, Barrister Mohammed Mustapha, who signed the statement, his party has had the cause to replace several billboards that were destroyed by the supporters of the ruling party two weeks ago.
The chairman said the latest of such attacks on their campaign structures was carried out on Friday after the party had “spent so much resources to replace the 16 billboards that were earlier destroyed.”
“It is alarming to note that no other group is leading this mundane and archaic politics of bitterness other than the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its government under Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, a man who has been promoted as the people’s governor,” the statement said.
“On Friday, January 20, 2023, the campaign billboards of our Presidential candidate, His Excellency Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, and that of the Borno Central Senatorial candidate, His Excellency Attom Magira Tom, were violently attacked and destroyed in strategic locations across the Maiduguri Metropolis and other major communities within the constituency.
“This attack on our campaign structures was coming barely two weeks after similar destruction was carried out on the same number of billboards. As law-abiding members of a party whose principles have resonated with the electorates, we did not call for counter-violence. Instead, we urged our teaming supporters to remain calm and law-abiding while the leadership of NNPP reported the matter to concerned security agencies.
The NNPP state chairman said: “It is even more saddening to note that the APC and its thugs did not only destroy our billboards, but they also went ahead to replace the banners on them with those of some of their own APC candidates even though we have paid the Borno state government all the required fees for the advertisement permit.
“We want to kindly remind the general public that this attitude of violence by the APC and its government did not start today.
“All these unfortunate happenings are going on in our state at a time when the state is governed by a University Professor and member“of the National Institute, who is supposed to be an intellectual and above board.”
The opposition party chairman, who had also shared photographs of the destroyed campaign billboards, expressed “disappointment at the ruling party’s level of political intolerance so far demonstrated by the Governor and his ruling party.
The Humanitarian Times reporter had on Sunday sighted some of the defaced or destroyed billboard with NNPP inscription at some locations of Maiduguri, but cannot verify who was respnsible for the defacement.
While calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies to deploy relevant sections of the Electoral Act to in punishing offenders, the opposition party also ”call on the APC-led government under Professor Babagana Zulum to call his party members to order, as there is a limit to indiscretion.”
“We will continue to call our members to maintain orderliness; but will not tolerate further onslaught on our party campaign structures,” Barrister Mohammed warned.
“We are also worried that most of the destruction perpetrated on our billboards by the APC was done at locations where the offices of the security agencies are located, and nothing was done to prevent its continuous recurrence.
Meanwhile, the APC chairman, Ali Bukar Dalori, had denied the allegations saying that “the NNPP is concocting lies against the ruling APC.”
“The APC and its teaming supporters are peace-loving individuals who are poised to ensure Borno sustains its developmental strides under the good leadership qualities of Governor Zulum,” the reported quoted the APC chairman who this newsroom has not been able to reach at the moment.