Politicians have been advised to seek the approval of the Advertising Practitioners  Council of Nigeria (APCON) before publishing any advertisement in respect of the  2011 general elections.

The council’s Registrar, Alhaji Garba Bello, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)  in Lagos on Saturday that such clearance was necessary to check abuse of  advertisements by politicians.

The registrar said that media organisations should also ensure that political  adverts were cleared with APCON before publishing them.

“APCON, as a regulatory agency, is empowered to control and regulate advertisements  in all aspects and ramifications.

“The essence of the pre-exposure clearance is to safeguard against spurious,  misleading, indecent or disparaging advertisements capable of exploiting or  offending the sensibility of the public,” he explained.

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He added that such clearance would enhance free, fair and credible elections.

Bello decried the failure of some political aspirants to forward their campaign  programmes and manifestos to APCON for scrutiny in spite of a letter to them by the  council.

“Only one of the presidential aspirants has responded to our request,” he added.

He urged politicians to play politics according to its rules and shun acts that  could cause violence and breakdown of law and order.

“Nigeria is already in the eye of the world; any failure on our part can send a  wrong signal to the outside world,” he said.

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