Except for APC, are other political parties’ campaign billboards restricted in Lagos State?

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By Quadri Yahya

Claim:

Social media users virally share a claim that the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) issued a directive to restrict other political parties in the State from placing campaign billboards, except for the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Full Text:

As Nigeria approaches the 2023 general election, the presidential candidates are warming up towards the campaign season. While anticipating the campaign season, political parties are often on the look out for public spaces to display their banners.

Ahead of this time, a claim has been circulating on Twitter social media instigating that the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) issued a directive to restrict other political parties from placing their campaign banners on public billboards, except for the ruling All Progressives Congress.

A Twitter user, Olaudah Equinoh® (@RealOlaudah) on August 29, 2022, posted one 2-minute 20-seconds and 1-minute clip with the image of LASAA on it.

The caption reads:

“If you do not see any billboard in Lagos State advertising any other political party but APC, this is the reason why.”

The audio clips are purportedly a conversation with an agent of an advertising company.

READ TRANSCRIPT OF THE RECORDINGS:

Caller [C] and Agent [A]

C: Hello. Good afternoon.

A: Good afternoon. Sorry, I missed your call.

C: Okay. My name is Olaleke from Epe.

A: Okay, sir.

C: Please, I want to make an enquiry about that billboard at Ayetoro.

A: Okay.

C: So, how much is it and how available is it?

A: Well, for now, it’s available. It’s 4 million per annum. What brand are you putting on it?

C: It’s for politics, anyway.

A: Politics? What party?

C: Labour Party

A: Labour Party? I’m not sure we’ll accept Labour Party.

C: Why?

A: We have internal control issue from Lagos State Signage and it’s becoming a serious issue.

C: Internal control in what way?

A: Like, they are not giving us room to advertise other parties aside from APC.

C: That’s an obnoxious one.

A: We all know. Even, the governorship candidate for PDP came on air to give his view as regards the terrible state of things.

C: That’s a funny one

A: It’s not a good one at all. We all understand what it is about but, you know they control all the billboards. It’s also giving us issues, seriously. It’s giving us the practitioners’ issue, seriously.

C: Okay, no problem.  But that’s not internal control. That’s a form of compulsion.

A: Yes, that’s why I said internal control from the regulatory body.

C: If it’s internal control, that means they shouldn’t accept any political party irrespective.

A: I understand what you’re saying. But we are compulsory not to do that.

C: Okay, no problem.  I understand. I’ve heard something like that before. I don’t know it gets to that level in that area.

A: it is. It’s actually a problem.

C: Okay, no problem. But is it only in Lagos State or…?

(END).

The clips had been viewed by over 70 thousand people.

Also, the post, since surfacing online, has been retweeted over 2.7 k times, 300 quote likes and 2.7k likes.

Verification:

Attempt to reach the person who posted the clips prove abortive as the person’s Twitter handle has been restricted from sending a Direct Message.

Further checks showed that the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency in a series of tweets debunked the viral post.

Conclusion:

FactCheck Election can conclude that the viral audio clips/claim that the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency issued a directive to restrict the placement of other political parties’ campaign billboards except APC is MISLEADING.

It is relevant to also state that the general public should be conscious of information spreading on social media so as not to be a victim of digital delusion or deduction.

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