2023 Elections: Council Tasks Advertisers and Politicians on Campaigns
By Tunde Akanbi, Ilorin
The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria, ARCON has organised a one day Seminar for media practitioners and political parties in Kwara State on how best to come up with communication strategies and issue-based political campaigns ahead of the 2023 general election.
The council held the seminar in conjunction with Trendsville Media in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, North Central Nigeria.
The event also featured respected experts and some panelists who spoke on Marketing Communication and Nigeria’s Political Economy; Regulatory/legal issues in Political Advertising; and the Requirements and Process of Approval of Political Advertisement.
ARCON’s Director General, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo said the programme was organised to sensitise the advertisers and communication experts on the need to abide by the new ARCON Act, violation of which he said, would not be condoned.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari and other relevant agencies of government for playing active roles over the signing of the new Act, which he said has increased the function of the body.
In his lecture, CEO Noah’s Ark Communication, Lanre Adisa, said it was not only criminal to run political adverts without ARCON’s approval but also susceptible to lose the target results.
He said there was a clear difference between the advertisement managed by an expert and those coming from quacks.
He urged all practitioners and politicians to always engage the service of the professionals.
Also speaking, Director General Centre for Media Law and Development, Mr Charles Odenigbo, said no section of the ARCON’s Act seeks to entirely regulate the social media but to check the practice of advertising political parties or candidates on the social media, which he said is a breach of the Council’s regulation.
He enjoined all social media handlers to adhere to the new legal framework to avoid penalties.
Mrs. Ijedi Iyoha, who is the Director, Regulation, Monitoring and Enforcement at the Council, said ARCON was living no stone unturned in ensuring that political campaigns are issues-based and not designed to run down the opponents with derogatory comments.
She said the Council has a mandate to insist on political parties making their advert contents truthful, objective and not diversionary, saying comparative advertisements have no place in the ARCON’s regulation.
Among the panelists at the occasion are: associate Professor at the University of Ilorin, Dr. Saudat Abdulbaqi; Dr. Kadijat Kadir; Mrs. Emme Akande; Architect Oladotun Sikirullahi,
They all applauded the Nigerian government for the enactment of the ARCON’s new Act.
Participants at the event commended the ARCON for the Seminar.