Three Ebonyi State born social activists have petitioned Global Communication Limited, a telecommunication giant with the brand name Globacom, over alleged offensive advert running on televisions and other electronic devices.
The activists: Innocent Onu, Inya Richard and Christian Ogba, in the petition urged Globacom to immediately stop the alleged offensive advert, which they claimed portrayed Ebonyi State negatively, from being aired on televisions and other visual electronic devices.
The petition, which was made available to newsmen in Abakaliki on Sunday, was dated April 27, 2019 and was addressed to Chief Mike Adenuga, owner of Globacom Nigeria.
The petition was entitled: “Globacom’s disrespect for Abakaliki, Ebonyi: A call to take down the ‘GLO OGA SIM’ advert featuring Lagbaja.”
The petitioners alleged that part of the advert portrayed Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, as a city of poverty-stricken, downtrodden, timid, helpless people living in undeveloped, unhealthy and shabby environment.
The petition reads in part: “May we draw your attention to one of your company’s (Globacom) advert entitled, ‘GLO OGA SIM’ advert featuring Lagbaja which has been running on various media platforms including television channels in Nigeria.”
“Let us also quickly point out that the manner in which parts of your advert portrayed the city of Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi is disrespectful, humiliating, deeply offensive and does not in any way represent what the city looks like.
“No matter the message the advert is designed to convey, we believe it has been marred by its dangerous message which clearly promotes the usual fallacy that has stereotyped Abakaliki as city identified with backwardness.
“It portrays a city with poverty stricken, downtrodden, timid and helpless people living in undeveloped, unhealthy and shabby environment.
“While your company and others may see it as just an advert and while some people may dismiss our observation as irrelevant and a non issue, what we see is an offensive, harmful, injurious message and a serious insult on the people of the state.
“By airing this advert, you are marketing your products while de-marketing the state and its people, thereby undermining in splits of seconds, the developmental efforts of both the government and our people over the years.”
The trio further alleged that the advert had also become a serious source of emotional and psychological trauma to them every time they got to watch it and believed that a lot of other citizens of the state felt the same way.
They said: “Abakaliki is the capital city of Ebonyi, a state now considered the fastest growing state in South-East of Nigeria with over five million citizens scattered across the globe with internationally acclaimed statesmen, politicians, businessmen and erudite scholars.
“The state and its highly cherished citizens most of whom are your loyal customers spending thousands of their hard earned money on your products you have chosen to denigrate in such a humiliating manner.”
The petitioners therefore demanded among others an immediate take down of the offensive advert from all media platforms, the company stops further airing of the advert and that the company tender unreserved apology to government and people of the state.
The petitioners threatened to boycott all products offered by Globacom, mobilise and encourage other concerned Ebonyi State citizens to embark on the company’s products boycott if the demands were not met within two weeks of receipt of the petition.