Opposition parties in Anambra State have condemned the N9m levy on each of the governorship aspirants by the state government before they will be allowed to paste their posters in any part of the state.
They have vowed to contest the regulation in court.
They said it was an infringement on their fundamental rights.
Speaking with our correspondent in Awka, the state capital, the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Emeka Ibe, said the regulation was exploitative, outrageous and was done to stop small political parties from fielding candidates in the election.
Ibe stated, “It’s meant to choke and suffocate poor and indigent candidates. We are opposed to it and we must challenge it constitutionally.”
The Progressives People’s Alliance described the pronouncement as an ominous sign, adding that the government would want to use its machinery to suppress other contenders in the forthcoming governorship poll.
The Chairman of the PPA in the state, Chief Mathias Emeke, said it was laughable that somebody would want anybody to believe that the incumbent Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, who is seeking re-election, would pay the levy.
He described the levy as outrageous, saying the public had been put on notice that the Anambra State Government would not want healthy competition in this year’s governorship election.
He added, “The incumbent needs not fear if he is sure that he is willingly working as his subordinates would claim.
“Fixing of outrageous fees for party candidates’ publicity is a sign of the government’s resentment for popular participation in the coming poll and it is unacceptable and reprehensible.
“Government’s insistence on this wicked regulation is a recipe for people’s resistance which the PPA shall be part of. Autocratic leadership is no more in vogue and there is no need to use state resources to fight people instead of making their lives better.”
The Managing Director of the Anambra State Signage and Advertisement Agency, Chief Jude Emecheta, had, on Monday, said governorship aspirants in the state would pay N9m each to the agency before their election campaign posters would be allowed to be pasted in any part of the state.