The Labour Party’s gubernatorial candidate, Olumide Akpata, has alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party-led state government in Edo State has destroyed his campaign billboards, describing the action as “desperate, undemocratic, and fascistic”.
Akpata made the accusation at a press conference in Benin on Friday, stating that the destruction of his billboards was a coordinated attack on his constitutional rights to free speech and political expression.
He claimed that the billboards, which he had legally paid for and erected across Benin City, were vandalized and torn down by agents of the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, in various local government areas.
The LP candidate alleged that the destruction of his campaign materials was a tactic by the ruling party to silence his voice and undermine his campaign.
He described the actions as “desperate, last-ditch tactics of an intolerant regime” afraid of losing power.
READ ALSO:LP guber candidate, Akpata, ‘attacks’ Edo Gov Obaseki over selective swearing-in of judges
“Over the past few days, we have witnessed a coordinated, premeditated, and insidious assault on our constitutionally guaranteed rights to free speech, political expression, and the fundamental tenets of democracy itself. Billboards that I, as a law-abiding citizen and a gubernatorial candidate, legally paid for and erected across the length and breadth of Benin City have come under attack from the local government areas, who are agents of the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki.
“Let me be clear, these are the desperate, last-ditch tactics of an intolerant regime terrified of the winds of change blowing across our dear state, a regime paralysed by the fear of the people’s burgeoning yearning for a new direction, a new vision, and a new era of progressive and inclusive governance.
“By resorting to the destruction of my campaign materials, which I have legally and legitimately paid for with hard-earned resources, Governor Obaseki, and his handlers have clearly shown themselves to be anti-democratic forces intolerant of divergent voices, dissenting , and the fundamental principles of pluralism that undergird any true democracy worth the name,” he alleged.
Akpata’s allegations highlight the tensions and allegations of intimidation that have characterized the Edo State governorship election campaign.
The incident raises concerns about the respect for democratic principles and the rule of law in the election process.

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