Mixed reactions trail de-registration of parties

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The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and the Democratic People’s Party, DPP, on Friday in Abuja commended INEC for the de-registration of 28 political parties.

The National Chairman of DPP, retired Gen. Bashir Magashi, advised the chieftains of the affected political parties to come together and form a strong opposition.

Speaking  yesterday, the spokespersons of the parties asserted that the exercise was a step in the right direction.

Jega, INEC Chairman.

However, the Benue State Chapter of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, on Friday condemned the de-registration of 28 political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The Chairman of the chapter, Mr Baba Agan, who spoke in Makurdi yesterday, described the electoral body’s action as undemocratic.

“There are so many strong politicians that are affected in the exercise, they should challenge the situation and come together, consolidate on their experience to form a formidable opposition.

“This will make political terrain inNigeria to be more competitive,” Magashi said.

He said that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was so clear, and that even though the constitution allowed for a multi-party system, INEC still had the power to de-register parties.

He said it had become so obvious with the amendment of Electoral Act in 2010 that INEC would de-register parties that did not meet its guidelines.

“Electoral Act 2010 as amended, states that “any political party which contests elections and does not win any electoral seat shall be de-registered”, this must be the law, which INEC applied to the affected parties. Magashi urged Nigerians to embrace the exercise as sound moral values to ensure the sustenance of democracy and be more committed to the tenets of democracy.

In a separate interview, National Auditor of the PDP, Mr Bode Mustapha, said that the exercise would sanitise the polity and create a better footing for democracy inNigeria.

He said that the proliferation of political parties inNigeriawas not too healthy for democracy.

Mustapha said the de-registration exercise should serve as a pointer that the success of any thriving democracy was not in the number of existing political parties, but the coordination and ability to do it right.

He said this exercise would give the political dispensation the ethical and noble instruments needed to give the next generation a proper foundation.

Meanwhile, Agan, whose Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, was among the de-registered parties, described the commission’s action as a violation of the right to peaceful assembly.

He said that INEC was “dressed in borrowed robes”, when it carried out the act, noting that it acted above its powers to do what it did.

The CNPP chief advised the Federal Government to channel its energy and resources toward combating corruption and insecurity, instead of dealing with political parties.

Agan called on government to prevail on INEC to rescind its decision by maintaining the staus quo. He said the commission’s action indicated that the country was fast sliding into a one party state.

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