The Nigerian Police on Sunday have arrested vandals identified by their uniforms as staff of the Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA) vandalizing advertising boards belonging to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP Candidate in Lagos, Jimi Agbaje in the Ikeja area of the state. The vandals however left the the boards of the APC candidate in Lagos, Babajide Sanwoolu standing; a clear indication that this was no official assignment regarding the placement of advertising boards by political candidates, but a brazen act of sabotage and intimidation on the opposition.
Recall that on the 1st of December, the PDP candidate Jimi Agbaje had announced in the media that his boards were being removed from the 3rd Mainland Bridge after a private citizen posted a video of the act going on the early hours of the morning. In response, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police called a meeting of all stakeholders including LASAA and the major political parties in Lagos to a meeting to resolve the issue and set up a monitoring team comprising the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba’s Riders Unit, to monitor daily and arrest anybody seen vandalising or defacing campaign posters or boards.
It is regrettable that these crass targeted acts of vandalism and political intolerance towards the opposition have continued unabated. This further buttresses the claim that Lagos State is indeed completely partisan as despite the police’s promise to put in place a team that would arrest those vandalising PDP billboards in the state, these attacks still persist. It is enough to make people wonder if free and fair elections can indeed be conducted in a state where the opposition cannot be left to campaign without oppression.