The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will continue to abide by relevant laws and constitutional provisions on registration of political parties in the country.
Aminu Idris, INEC Head, Election and Party Monitoring Department, said this at a policy roundtable on modalities for measuring political parties’ performance in Nigeria in Abuja.
The roundtable was organised by Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) with support from Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
Idris, represented by Shehu Wahab, an INEC official, said that party registration had requirements and INEC would continue to act based on those requirements.
Asked if INEC would still consider applications from some groups seeking registration as political parties, Idris said that as a law abiding institution, INEC would continue to look into such applications.
“INEC still operates and will continue to operate by the law. If the laws allow parties to be formed, INEC will not stop the process of party registration.
“I think the task for us is that we still register parties based on their ability to meet requirements for registration,” he said.
He condemned acts of violence witnessed in the country’s recent elections.
He, however, said the menace should not be blamed on the commission, but on political actors organising thugs to disrupt the process.
The Country Representative of WFD, Adebowale Olorunmola decried what he called lack of ideology among registered parties in Nigeria as well as cases of defection among politicians from one party to the other.
“Political parties remain very important to the democratic process in the country because, they are the only platform by which leadership can emerge.
“However, if we continue to have parties that are so difficult to be distinguished from each other in terms of ideology and principles, it shows we have a lot of work with the parties.
“If we have top party officials comfortable moving from one party to the other on the eve of every election, it is of concern,” he said.
Olorunmola said the workshop was organised for stakeholders to brainstorm on indicators developed to help political parties improve their platform.