APCON claims neutrality as criticism trails clamp down on opposition party posters

With plethora of political posters and banners pasted on walls and objects around the country, some identified posters belonging to the opposition party, PDP are seen marked for removal by Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON, Nigerian regulatory agency on advertisement.

While political party candidates are pasting posters and mounting billboards almost at every corner, a particular billboard belonging to PDP candidates in Lagos was identified as being marked for removal by APCON.

This action by APCON has since stirred criticism that the agency is taking sides in the general election in favour of the ruling party.

But in a swift reaction to the allegation that its clamp down on some campaign billboards and posters of some political parties which were perceived opposition, APCON said it is neutral in its enforcement of regulations regarding the election materials.

Reacting to this allegation, citing a recent report aired on African Independent Television (AIT) network, the Acting Registrar of the Council, Ijedi Iyoha, vehemently denied the insinuation of partisanship in the conduct of the agency’s enforcement.

She stated that all the billboards and posters blanked out did not meet the pre-exposure vetting requirements of the Council, and not because they belonged to the opposition parties.

She stressed that the boards on which enforcements were carried out cut across parties.

For the avoidance of doubt, she added that APCON requires political parties and their candidates to forward their advertisements for pre-exposure vetting.

Iyoha emphasized that political advertisements were being vetted to promote sanity and peace of the democratic process.


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