The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) yesterday issued a blanket order warning churches to desist from pasting posters in the nation’s capital.
The order was given by the Acting Coordinator of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Hajia Safia Umar.
AMMC is one of the agencies under FCTA which is saddled with the effective administratiom of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Umar lamented that the infiltration of religious posters in public places in Abuja notably by those originating from churches was constituting an eyesore in the city.
She said AMMC had discussed the arbitrary flooding of the church posters in house with the Department of Outdoor Advertising and Signage (DOAS), the body in charge of all matters concerning outdoor advertising and signage in FCT, with a view to tackling and putting in place regulatory strategies by partnering the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)
Umar lamented that most of the churches in the habit of defacing Abuja with religious posters, were not affiliated to CAN, a development which made it difficult to moderate their activities. She added that even CAN President Rev. Samson Olasupo Adeniyi Ayokunle at a meeting with AMMC last year, complained against the practice of the churches of defacing the open spaces and Abuja gardens with the posters.
“We have discussed the arbitrary spreading of posters by churches in public domain at our management level. CAN finds it difficult to moderate this excesses because it claimed the perpetrators are not affiliated to it. But government is working towards controlling this practice to a large extent,” Umar vowed.
But shedding more light on the matter, the Director of DOAS, Ibrahim Yusuf, appealed to the churches to remove the posters in compliance with law of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).
He warned that church operators that violated the order would be arraigned before the mobile court for posting posters in public places.
He said the penalty for an individual is a fine N5,000 or one month imprisonment. Churches found to err against the AEPB law would be fined N50,000 while their sponsors would be sentenced to six months jail term.
Meanwhile, Umar has revealed that the agency has offered to procure 21 generating sets to provide alternative power supply backup for street lights in the case of power outage.
She said the contract to supply the generators that would ensure malfunctioning of lights on major roads becomes a thing of the past as it would be tackled in the next four months as contractors to supply and maintain the generators were being pre-qualified.