The governor of Adamawa, Bindow has sacked the General Manager of the State Urban Planning and Development Authority, Mohammed Dabo over the pulling down PDP billboards.
Dabo was sacked following the pulling down of all billboards belonging to the Peoples Democratic Party PDP Presidential aspirant Atiku Abubakar in Adamawa State.
A major controversy is trailing the sack of General Manager, as opposition People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) says it was a ploy by the Governor to exculpate himself of any blame after he ordered the GM to remove the billboards of the presidential candidate of PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
Sources in urban planning told our correspondent that the GM received his sack letter on Tuesday shortly before the close of work.
The state capital was embroiled in tension on Tuesday following skirmishes, between the personnel of urban planning and PDP supporters over attempt by the latter to remove Atiku’s billboards that were placed on the poles of street lights in Adamawa State
The attempt by the personnel of the urban planning board according to our findings allegedly followed an order by the GM that PDP billboards should be removed from strategic locations in the state capital.
A PDP dependable sources alleged that the GM was himself allegedly ordered by Governor Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla Bindow to ensure that he remove all of PDP billboards before he returned to the state capital from his trip yesterday.
The move by the officials to remove the PDP billboards nearly degenerated into an all for all fight, as PDP thugs and supporters also mobilized to prevent the removal of the billboards making the personnel of the urban planning to seek police protection so as to accomplish the job.
The PDP stalwarts cashed on the involvement of the police to insinuate that police were paid to remove PDP posters, forcing the commissioner of police CP Abdullahi Yerima to withdraw his men from the operation.
When contacted, the state chairman of the PDP Mr AT Shehu confirmed the development adding that as a law abiding party they did not resort to violence when the state government ordered urban planning to remove the billboards of Atiku and PDP noting that they reported the incident before the security agents.
He noted that the accusation that PDP did not follow due process could not hold water as he said there are laws and regulations before such action can be taken and the PDP registered all its billboards to the appropriate Government agencies before placing them.
“The law that established the urban planning states that if you are pasting billboards or operating office, you must pay revenue, as far as i know, the law has not been repealed. Even if we did not pay the money, the government should not outrightly remove the billboards, Shehu queried.
“The law stated that the defaulter will first be served default notice reminding him of his misdemeanour. If he didn’t pay, he will be issued a letter of demand. If he still didn’t pay, he will get a notice of removal and if he still didn’t comply the agency will take him to a revenue tribunal.
If the tribunal is satisfied with the evidences presented, they will either ask the defaulter to pay the revenues or order the police to remove it,” he said.
Reacting to this development a State Government sources royal to Governor Bindow said,
“Some people falsely insinuated yesterday that the urban planning was trying to remove Atiku’s posters. They are trying to use politics to promote lawlessness. There are rules governing placements of billboards.
Government has the right to demand revenue from anybody using street lights because it is the one maintaining them and therefore, should generate revenue from them.
“Anyone trying to erect billboards must approach urban planning and make appropriate payments. Because of the fear of rebuke, we can’t fold our arms to watch people committing all sort of lawlessness,” he said.
Commenting on the issue Adamawa state Police Public Relations Officer PPRO Othman Abubakar noted that the police will remain non partisan and will ensure the prevalence of justice between members of the general public.