By Angela Atabo
Dr. Dan Mou, Executive Chairman, Centre for Poverty Eradication, Development and Equal Opportunity (CEPEDEO), says political parties that failed to win at least a counselor seat during the 2019 election should be de-registered.
Mou said this in Abuja at a National Conference on Electoral Integrity with the theme“ Sustaining the Integrity of 2019 General Elections’’, organised by the African Electoral Integrity Initiative.
He said there were many political parties that have no business being registered in the first place.
“The law can be changed because laws are meant for humans and not human for the laws, I am of the position that after the 2019 election, parties that did not win even one councilor should be thrown out.
“The thing is that most of these political parties belong to top politicians, it may interest you to know that some presidential candidates have 25 parties, I know a presidential candidate that has 40.
“So the point is that just like in the regime of Retired Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, there should be a certain criteria for a political party to be allowed to continue to operate.
“If a party cannot even win five councilors why should it be retained in the books as a political party,’’ he said.
According to Mou, it gets very complicated to be able to conduct election and come out with a ballot paper with 91 political parties.
He said it was a decision to be taken as a nation, adding that Nigeria’s political history showed that there is a tendency towards two or three parties at the end of the election.
He urged stakeholders to look into the issue of proliferation of ineffective political parties.
Also speaking, Mrs Aisha Aminu, a politician advised political parties to maintain internal democracy adding that parties needed to engage in violent free campaigns abhorring hate speech.
Aminu said so far the political environment is peaceful and healthy compared to how it was in the pre-election period of 2015 adding that “I hope it remains so’’.
She said peace was necessary because without peace election would not hold.
“This will in turn truncate democracy since election is an integral part of democracy,’’ she said.
She called on stakeholders to collectively come together to ensure there was integrity in the process to avoid apathy especially by providing a level playing field where everybody is given the right to participate.
Dr Daniel Omofoman, Regional Director, West Africa, African Electoral Integrity Initiative said the conference was organised to sensitise citizens on the need for electoral integrity.
Omofoman said this was because for a volatile country like Nigeria, increasing electoral integrity was central to the consolidation of democracy, security and stability.
He said the organsiation would embark on nationwide voter sensitisation programme to educate the electorate on their role and responsibilities in the election, especially against vote buying.