The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed its willingness to cooperate with advertising professionals in the country to mitigate hate speeches in the country’s electoral campaigns.
A statement posted on INEC online newspaper on Tuesday in Abuja, quoted the commission’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu as making the pledge when he received the newly elected Executives of the Advertising Practitioners Association, Abuja Chapter (APAAC).
Yakubu said that the commission would partner with the professionals to promote sound political advertising as the countdown to the 2019 general elections continued.
Prof. Yakubu, who was represented by National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Prince Adedeji Soyebi, welcomed the support of the Association towards improving the electoral process.
He said that working with professional bodies such as APAAC would bring about sanity in the practice, especially with regard to electoral advertisings.
The INEC Chairman said the Commission was willing to work with every organisation that could add value to the 2019 general elections.
Yakubu urged APAAC to work closely with the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in order to sanitise political advertising.
Earlier, the Chairman of APAAC, Mr Ibrahim Aliyu commended the current leadership of the Commission for its focus and determination to ensure free, fair and credible elections regardless of daunting challenges.
“Despite the huge challenges, INEC has been performing creditably well.
“Political contests in Nigeria have always been characterized historically by violence, misgivings, fake news and propaganda, but in spite of these, INEC has remained on the path of providing Nigerians with credible elections.”
He said that APAAC, as a patriotic organisation, was prepared to assist INEC in sensitizing political parties on ethical advertising.
He said the association would also assist on how campaigns should be run, in order to avert a repeat of what happened in 2015 when hate speech and foul languages were prevalent.
A member of the delegation and Zonal Head, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Alhaji Adamu Yelwa, pledged the Council’s commitment to cooperate with INEC.
Yelwa said the association would partner with INEC to promote sound political advertising in the build-up to the 2019 general elections.