Politicians have been advised to seek the approval of the Advertising PractitionersÂ Council of Nigeria (APCON) before publishing any advertisement in respect of theÂ 2011 general elections.
The councilâ€™s Registrar, Alhaji Garba Bello, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)Â in Lagos on Saturday that such clearance was necessary to check abuse ofÂ advertisements by politicians.
The registrar said that media organisations should also ensure that politicalÂ adverts were cleared with APCON before publishing them.
â€œAPCON, as a regulatory agency, is empowered to control and regulate advertisementsÂ in all aspects and ramifications.
â€œThe essence of the pre-exposure clearance is to safeguard against spurious,Â misleading, indecent or disparaging advertisements capable of exploiting orÂ offending the sensibility of the public,â€ he explained.
He added that such clearance would enhance free, fair and credible elections.
Bello decried the failure of some political aspirants to forward their campaignÂ programmes and manifestos to APCON for scrutiny in spite of a letter to them by theÂ council.
â€œOnly one of the presidential aspirants has responded to our request,â€ he added.
He urged politicians to play politics according to its rules and shun acts thatÂ could cause violence and breakdown of law and order.
â€œNigeria is already in the eye of the world; any failure on our part can send aÂ wrong signal to the outside world,â€ he said.