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Smear Campaigns Will Not Deter Us From Performing Our Regulatory Role, Says LASAA Boss

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From left: Adediran Olajide-Jandor, Lagos State PDP Gubernatorial candidate; Dele Odugbemi, MD, JC Decaux Grace Lake Nigeria and Prince Adedamola Docemo.

Managing Director of the State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA), Prince Adedamola Docemo has reacted to the allegation of electoral misconduct levelled against the agency by the gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Olajide Adediran (Jandor), during an Arise TV interview.

In a reaction posted on the agency’s Twitter handle, Docemo refuted claims made by Adediran that the Lagos State Government instructed outdoor advertising practitioners to reject materials from opposition parties and, therefore, his advertisement materials were brought down midway into a contract.

Chiding Adediran over what he termed ignorance of the modus operandi of the agency, he wrote: “the PDP candidate displayed stark ignorance of the rules guiding outdoor advertisement practice in Lagos. LASAA simply regulates billboard structures and not advertisement campaigns.

“The decision to deploy any advertisement is the sole discretion of billboard owners who must have registered with LASAA for a licence to hoist advertisement structures in the State. Advertising companies determine their clients and the terms of their trade.

“We are familiar with such theatrics displayed by Mr. Adediran and the People’s Democratic Party in their puerile attempt to curry public sympathy by playing the victim. We will, however, never succumb to falsehood and cheap blackmail. LASAA will remain steadfast and committed to its responsibility and the dictates of the law without being partisan,” he wrote.

He however noted that the indiscriminate pasting of posters will not be permitted anywhere in Lagos until political campaigns have been formally flagged off, in accordance with INEC guidelines. “Even at that, it must be done at designated sites. The guidelines will be enforced without prejudice against any political party, association or aspirant.

“Lagosians will not be distracted by any political party or candidate who tends to whip up sentiments to gain public sympathy,” he concluded.

Reacting to LASAA’s stand on pasting posters before the official flag-off by INEC, an OOH practitioner who pleaded anonymity said that the agency’s stand is massively garnished with hypocrisy. While noting that the campaign materials from the incumbent governor as well as that of the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate enjoy “massive, unfettered coverage across Lagos state,” he urged LASAA to rise above partisanship and focus on doing its job without fear or favour.

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