*Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Nigeria’s INEC Chairman
74 political parties in Nigeria have been deregistered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) meaning that Nigeria now has 18 political parties. Before the INEC decision the deregister a number of mushroom political parties, Nigeria had 91 registered parties that participated in the last 2019 general elections in Nigeria. Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman made the shocking announcement of the deregistration of the political parties at a press briefing on the status of political parties and conduct of some off-season and by-elections.
Even with the pruning, the chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Kabiru Gaya (APC-Kano), has commended the commission, saying the development would make life easier for Nigerians during elections. He said the target of his panel was to further, “trim down the number of political parties in the country to a reasonable figure of either five or eight. Our plan is to make future elections cheaper than that of 2019. This is one of the ways to achieve that.”
The Executive Director of the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), Faith Nwadishi, has also called on the political class to accept the development. “For those politicians whose political parties have been de-registered, we call on them to align with any of the 18 political parties whose ideologies are in line with theirs,” she said.
The 18 parties that survived INEC’s deregistration include: Accord Party (A), Action Alliance (AA), African Action Congress (AAC), African Democratic Congress (ADC), African Democratic Party (ADP), All Progressives Congress (APC), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Allied Peoples Movement (APM). Others are Labour Party (LP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), National Rescue Movement (NRM), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Young Progressive Party (YPP) and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
Yakubu, however, said one of the political parties, Action Peoples Party (APP), has filed a suit in court and obtained an order restraining the commission from deregistering it, and so remained registered pending the determination of the case by the court. He also said the 18th party, which was a new political party, Boot Party (BP), registered by court order after the 2019 general elections, will also continue to exist.