The police in Lagos have arrested six supporters of the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) Omoyele Sowore, for allegedly removing the campaign materials of an unnamed political party and replacing them with those of their candidate.
Spokesperson for the Lagos police, Chike Oti, who confirmed the report to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said the suspects were arrested around 2.30 am around by patrol cops around the Ikeja area of the city.
Mr Oti said the alleged actions of supporters of Mr Sowore, whose campaign slogan is “Take It Back” runs foul to the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) laws that forbade advertisers from pasting posters at no other hour than during the day time.
Mr Oti said the police retrieved a poster bearing the picture of the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, (AAC) Mr Sowore, brush, buckets containing gums and turn off posters of other political parties, from the suspects.
”The CP has directed that the suspects be charged to court on Monday for malicious damage and conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace to serve as a deterrent to others,” he said.
Meanwhile, the AAC has reacted to the arrest of its supporters saying it is a continuation of the intimidation of its supporters by the government and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
A statement signed by Rachel Onamusi-Kpiasi, director of communication of the ‘Take it Back’ movement, said the supporters were not violating any law at the time they were arrested.
“Pasting of posters and creating awareness for the only alternative to the rot that has decimated our nation is not and has never been a crime in Nigeria, and this recent act of injustice suffered by the Take It Back Movement, the AAC and the presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, is further proof that the APC party is not interested in a free, fair election or in doing what is best for Nigerians.
“Every step of the AAC party’s campaign has been dogged with impediments and outright blocks from the ruling party. From cancelled TV interviews to the withdrawal of rally permits in the northern part of Nigeria, the Buhari-led government has launched a vendetta campaign against the one party resolved in bettering the lives of Nigerians.
“There are no guesses as to why the APC has taken offence against the AAC. While unwilling to pay hardworking Nigerians N30,000 a month for work done as minimum wage, the African Action Congress promises a living wage of N100,000 per month. While the incumbent government looks the other way while Nigerians are killed in their droves by terrorists, the AAC promises prosecution and tougher security measures to guarantee the safety and protection of Nigerians,” the opposition group said.
Following the destruction of the posters of the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Jimi Agbaje on the Third Mainland Bridge, earlier this month, an agreement was reached by political parties in Lagos and the police not to deface campaign posters of other political parties nor destroy their billboards.