Wednesday, 9 January 2019

CRISSAA has no role whatsoever in the 2019 general elections... —Stanley Nsemo


Stanley Nsemo 
Nyok|9 January 2019 

The Director General of the Cross River State Signage and Advertising Agency, CRISSAA Mr Stanley Livingstone Nsemo has said that the agency under his watch is non-partisan NEGROIDHAVEN can report authoritatively. 

He said this recently in Calabar while having an audience with members of the fourth estate of the realm at his office. Albeit, he clarified that his agency wade into politics when politicians/parties have crossed the rubicon especially in respect of outdoor advertising issues. 

DG Nsemo further gave an insight into the controversy surrounding CRISSA and the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Cross River State, Sen. John Owan-Enoh. He noted that the issue bothered on the violation on the part of the guber candidate as it borders already stated guidelines and policy for outdoor advertisements during the 2019 general elections in the state in particular. 

Nsemo disclosed that the Senator when notified of his violation, admitted to it but was yet to pay the requisite fine of five million Naira (N5, 000, 000) . According to CRISSA law, the fine is actually fifteen million (N15, 000, 000). 

His words, 'On the issue making rounds on social media especially, we believe we have adequately communicated our position to all the individuals and groups directly involved. Our fundamental concern though, is for the unsuspecting and overzealous persons who may choose to deliberately misinform the public and cause disaffection regarding our execution of our lawful mandate. We urge such individuals to understand that CRISSAA has no role whatsoever in the forthcoming general elections. We only get involved when political activities cross our line of duty and such occasions usually arise through outdoor advertisements by political campaign organizations.


'Sequel to this, we have reported the criminal destruction of billboards belonging to the P.D.P and other parties' gubernatorial candidates to requisite law enforcement agencies. We have the assurance of law enforcement that these incidences will be thoroughly investigated and all those involved will be brought to justice irrespective of party affiliation.


'With regards to the matter involving the gubernatorial candidate of the A.P.C, Sen. John Owan-Enoh; our position remains the same. We state clearly here again that prior to party primaries, we made announcements on all the radio stations in the State laying out our guidelines and policy for outdoor advertisements for the ensuing election season. The Distinguished Senator however, violated these guidelines and was informed accordingly.

'In acknowledgement of this error, the Senator proceeded to register his outdoor advertisements but however, is yet to pay his fine of Five Million Naira for earlier infringement of the guidelines. The fine was for the use of paper posters which were pasted around Calabar metropolis and not in any manner, shape or form related to politics as some rumor mongers have so far peddled. In our leniency, we turned a blind eye on fining Sen. John Owan-Enoh for not registering first before displaying his adverts. 

'Should we enforce the law to the letter, his fine at this time should far exceed the ten million naira he is being fined for twice breaching the rule.' 

The state signage and advertising boss urged the APC guber candidate, Owan-Enoh to live up to his obligations and disregard the propagandist antics of his campaign media team. He even described Owan-Enoh as a good man. 


His words, 'We therefore urge the distinguished Senator to live up to his obligations to our dear State rather than allow his media team make cheap propaganda and misrepresentation of our Agency while carrying on its lawful, fair and unprejudiced responsibilities.

'In my brief interaction with the Senator, I believe that he is a good man and the image being painted of him must be the handiwork of detractors in the guise of projectors. This incitement of his supposed supporters to violence and criminality is beneath the distinguished Senator's person, portfolio and party and we are convinced he can rise above these issues and work with the State Signage Agency for the good of Cross River State and his campaign organization.


'We look forward to resolving this issue quickly and amicably and put to rest this detestable episode. In the mean time it is our resolve that come what may, the ship of State must sail!' 

Nsemo while calling for coolheadedness on the part of supporters of candidates/parties, has warned that for those perpetrating the destruction of campaign outdoor materials, the long arm of the law will catch up with them. 




See full text PRESS RELEASE:
The management of the Cross River State Signage and Advertisement Agency (CRISSAA) wishes to reassure the general public that the Agency is determined to work in the best interest of all as enshrined in CRISSAA Law No. 8, of 2011. All law abiding citizens, businesses, and organizations operating within the state should be rest assured that we are poised to serve them without fear or favour.


This release becomes necessary following attempts by some individuals and groups to target the agency through misinformation, misrepresentation and outright falsehood in order to cause disaffection and ultimately to undermine the lawful activities of CRISSAA; sow discord and incite the unsuspecting populace to acts of aggression and violence.


We make this release regarding information circulating especially on social media alleging our agency's removal of outdoor advertising materials of a particular gubernatorial candidate. Although it is not in the policy of the agency to wade into issues like this, we think it is in the interest of peace and tranquility of the State to put such baseless rumors and propaganda to rest.


First of all, and on a general note, we wish to state that every society makes laws to ensure peace and order in the land. The Cross River State Signage and Advertisement Agency was established to ensure such order in the outdoor advertising sector within the State.


In the past eight years, the agency in collaboration with sister-agencies has ensured that we have decent public spaces across the State. This is in keeping with the State Government's mantra which is to keep the State 'Clean, Green and Valuable'. From this, any well-meaning individual or group should understand that without the Agency, the State will inevitably be defaced with competing outdoor advertisements which will understandably hurt our image as a foremost tourism destination in the country.


To effectively discharge her duties, the Agency is empowered by law to monitor and enforce all outdoor advertisements with respect to its responsibilities, including but not limited to:
Control of all outdoor structures to be used for signage and advertisements;
Issue licenses and permits for the construction and placement of outdoor structures for signage and advertisements in any part of the state; 
Protect the environment from potential adverse impact from visual blights;
Organize the procedure to regulate the ownership and operation of outdoor structures for the purpose of signage or advertisements under specific regulations as contained in the law;
Reject, revoke or modify permit if found to be in violation of any of the provisions of the law or the conditions for its grants;
Monitor and inspect through its monitoring unit any outdoor structure and verify its compliance with the law.


It is on the basis of this that CRISSAA puts in place lawful such measures and guidelines to regulate and enforce all extant regulations on outdoor advertisements and materials.


In spite of the backing of the law, because we believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law, we try to show a human face in our approach as well as to encourage enterprise. This we do usually by allowing considerable and reasonable time lapse before enforcement, negotiation of bills and waivers where applicable. This we have done over the past three years.


Secondly, we would like the public to know that in the discharge of our duty, we have neither respect nor bias for personalities or parties. We follow the law faithfully both in spirit and in letter and we strive be fair to all concerned as befits our role as a regulator in the signage and outdoor advertisements sub-sector of Cross Rivers State.


On the issue making rounds on social media especially, we believe we have adequately communicated our position to all the individuals and groups directly involved. Our fundamental concern though, is for the unsuspecting and overzealous persons who may choose to deliberately misinform the public and cause disaffection regarding our execution of our lawful mandate. We urge such individuals to understand that CRISSAA has no role whatsoever in the forthcoming general elections. We only get involved when political activities cross our line of duty and such occasions usually arise through outdoor advertisements by political campaign organizations.


Sequel to this, we have reported the criminal destruction of billboards belonging to the P.D.P and other parties' gubernatorial candidates to requisite law enforcement agencies. We have the assurance of law enforcement that these incidences will be thoroughly investigated and all those involved will be brought to justice irrespective of party affiliation.


With regards to the matter involving the gubernatorial candidate of the A.P.C, Sen. John Owan-Enoh; our position remains the same. We state clearly here again that prior to party primaries, we made announcements on all the radio stations in the State laying out our guidelines and policy for outdoor advertisements for the ensuing election season. The Distinguished Senator however, violated these guidelines and was informed accordingly.


In acknowledgement of this error, the Senator proceeded to register his outdoor advertisements but however, is yet to pay his fine of Five Million Naira for earlier infringement of the guidelines. The fine was for the use of paper posters which were pasted around Calabar metropolis and not in any manner, shape or form related to politics as some rumor mongers have so far peddled. In our leniency, we turned a blind eye on fining Sen. John Owan-Enoh for not registering first before displaying his adverts. 


Should we enforce the law to the letter, his fine at this time should far exceed the ten million naira he is being fined for twice breaching the rule.


We therefore urge the distinguished Senator to live up to his obligations to our dear State rather than allow his media team make cheap propaganda and misrepresentation of our Agency while carrying on its lawful, fair and unprejudiced responsibilities.


In my brief interaction with the Senator, I believe that he is a good man and the image being painted of him must be the handiwork of detractors in the guise of projectors. This incitement of his supposed supporters to violence and criminality is beneath the distinguished Senator's person, portfolio and party and we are convinced he can rise above these issues and work with the State Signage Agency for the good of Cross River State and his campaign organization.


We look forward to resolving this issue quickly and amicably and put to rest this detestable episode. In the mean time it is our resolve that come what may, the ship of State must sail!


Finally, we hereby advise all those involved in the destruction of outdoor structures to cease and desist from such heinous acts because the long arm of the law will definitely catch up with them. We further advise concerned members of the public to seek proper information from our office and those who feel aggrieved to seek redress in a court of competent jurisdiction rather than resort to violence and destruction of property.


We also place on record here, the numerous threats made on the Director General of the Agency on account of this issue. These have been documented and reported to law enforcement Agencies. We are not intimidated neither are we deterred by this.


We believe it is a sacred obligation of all stakeholders, opinion leaders and candidates for political offices to abide by existing laws and also advise those within their sphere of influence to do the same. It is evil, unpatriotic and undemocratic to manipulate information and twist the system to suit one's personal desires.


Support CRISSAA by reporting billboard vandals to our customer care line, 09080154444 or law nearest law enforcement agents. Help us keep Cross River State Clean Green and Valuable.

This is signed by:
STANLEY NSEMO
Director General




Efio-Ita Nyok is the blogger-in-chief, editor-in-chief and publisher of NEGROIDHAVEN 



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