The Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) has expressed concern on the recent state of partisan politics being played in the country as the 2014 elections draws closer.
The association in a press release signed by its president, Kelechi Nwosu said this is evident in the series of ‘unhealthy smear campaigns’ which not only contravenes the tenets of advertising but also dangerous to the peaceful coexistence of the nation.
It therefore enjoined politicians and other stakeholders to respect the sensibility of the general public while making utterances and passing across their campaign messages.
Here’s the Release in full:
AAAN PRESS RELEASE
A VOTE FOR POLITICAL DECORUM
The Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) have observed with great concern the spate of unhealthy smear campaigns by the political parties and shadow interest groups across the various media channels.
In obvious disregard of the advertising code and ethics of APCON and the AAAN most of these political campaigns are being flighted without going through the vetting procedures and consequent approvals from the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP). It is therefore most concerning to our membership that the professional values of the advertising practice and indeed public sensibilities as well as the very stability of the polity is being severely undermined by the continued character assassinations, wanton abuses, unrestrained attacks and hostile threats and counter threats that have become the bane of the political campaigns building up to the elections.
As a non partisan but patriotic association committed to the promotion and consolidation of democratic ideals, the AAAN wishes to implore the various stakeholders, political parties, candidates, interest groups, traditional and religious leaders to temper their campaign messages and public utterances with decorum, levity and a sense of appreciation that we would all become losers, if the continued Impropriety politicking, unbridled bloodlust for power overheats the system and tilts the polity into chaos and anarchy. Then there would be no Political Prize to be won only reversals and crises that would seek to prise us apart as a nation and plunge our generation and possibly those to come into a dark age. These are trying times for our dear nation which demand a high level of maturity, tact, caution and discipline from everyone.
We would therefore encourage the media houses and the relevant regulatory bodies that have a role to play in moderating and channelling political campaigns and public discourse to institute stronger editorial controls giving ultimate priority to the public good and national interest. Extreme caution must be applied, so as not to ignite the polity, especially now that we’re a few weeks away from the elections.
Elections will come and go but Nigeria and Nigerians will remain ONE. Let’s keep it that way by shunning violence, by comporting ourselves as Nigerians first and political gladiators second, during and after the election.