Last Updated on
- Weak political parties to be deregistered
- Spending of parties to undergo review
Nigeria’s electoral umpire has said it will deregister weak political parties when all cases related to 2019 elections are concluded.
Independent National Electoral Commission also said it will review the spending of the parties that participated in general elections.
The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, made this known as reported by The Punch.
Okoye said that electoral body would commence the process of delisting weak parties when all 2019 election related issues have been resolved.
“The commission is tracking campaign spending by the parties using its tracking devices. The commission will review the campaign spending of the parties at the conclusion of the current electoral process,” he was quoted as saying.
Politicians attempted to frustrate INEC
The INEC commissioner said Nigerian politicians attempted to frustrate the efforts of the commission during the just concluded polls.
He said the commission faced some challenges due to the attitude of some the politicians who are afraid of free and fair and credible elections.
“I take the view that the bandwagon syndrome in our electoral process is now a fact of history. The era when candidates used subterfuge, corrupted electoral process and allocated fictitious votes is over.
“The spectre of inconclusive elections is a function of the improvements in our electoral process as well as the desperation of the parties and the political elite. Politicians are getting desperate and keep plotting to render the smart card readers useless.
“Politicians are deploying violence in the electoral process and making the Nigerian people to disengage from the process. Politicians are kidnapping employees of the commission, maiming employees of the commission and killing employees of the commission.
“Staff members of the commission are being forced to write fake results and make false declarations and return.
“Our resolve is to conduct good elections and work collaboratively with the security agencies to secure the environment for elections.”
“Securing the electoral environment for credible elections is a function of the Nigeria Police Force as the lead agency in election security. In this venture, they are assisted by other security agencies.
“In terms of the law, Section 29(3) of the Electoral Act gives the commission the discretion to request the assistance of the armed forces in terms of movement of its materials and personnel. The commission can also request the assistance of the armed forces in terms of protecting its personnel in difficult terrain.”
Review of performance of political parties
Okoye said INEC will have to wait till all election cases at the tribunal are concluded before the commission could go take further action regarding the review.
According to him, any party stood a chance of victory in the reruns or at the tribunals.
“The process can only be activated when the commission completes all the supplementary elections and all the election petitions are disposed of. There is a possibility that a party that has not done well in any of the elections may win a seat in the National Assembly or state House of Assembly during the supplementary elections.
“At the appropriate time, the commission will review the performances of the parties and take a decision on their future.”
Recalled that over 90 political parties participated in the just concluded elections, but All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) dominated the political scene.
Other parties that have also won seats include APGA in the south east geopolitical and YPP.
If INEC used number of seats won by the parties as criteria, Nigeria might not have more than five political parties in the next general elections.