Following the newly registered 23 political parties in the country by the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC], Nigeria now has a total of 91 registered political parties.
These political parties are actually going to try their luck in the next general elections in 2019. A lot of people have taken a critical look on the essence of this number of political parties in Nigeria.
Responding to the development, a practicing lawyer in Abuja Mr. Bashman Adesina, said the law permits INEC to do so. Bashman said the multiplicity in number of political parties in Nigeria is legal, as long as the registered parties meet up with the necessary requirements.
He further said that even if INEC decides to register one thousand political parties, it should not bother Nigerians, noting that the main concern should be if the next general elections are going to be free, fair and credible.
He equally said that, in practice, it has a lot of implications to on the nation’s young democracy, because it will give room to mushroom political parties.
Bashman said, most of these parties will only exist in papers; as for the number of parties to be registered, INEC has the right to register as much as they want, but should equally consider the outcome.
Another lawyer and a member of defunct Justice Uwais Electoral Panel, Festus Okoye, said that the country does not need more than five political parties.
He opined that the way some Nigerians are clamouring for registration of more political parties, is not in the nation’s interest, therefore the proliferation of political parties should be halted.
Festus Okoye went further to express his views that in the national and state assemblies, even local government areas, there is no need to have more than five political parties represented, this is so because most of the parties have same ideological platform and content, therefore, in his own considered view, Nigeria does not need more than five political parties.
Mrs. Ifunanya Onuoha, chairperson of Umulogho Women Association [UWA] also a PDP woman leader in her community, said it is a welcome development. Mrs. Onuoha believes that it will give room for a lot of politicians to be accommodated, especially women.
She went further to say that, when all these political parties form their executives, there will be women leaders in the wards, L.G.As, State, and Nations.
She also explained that if women are not allowed to occupy meaningful elective positions, men cannot become woman leaders, in these parties and that will reduce and control the increasing rate of gender inequality.
A civil servant from Kogi State, Hassan Idakwoji, who is also a member of Rotary Club International, said, a lot of things in Nigeria are not organised, that Nigeria is a country where every commission or organisation wants to do anything without proper planning.
Hassan said, if actually INEC will be like Rotary Club International, everything will be well organised. He added that the nation cannot continue to register more political parties because it is practicing multi party system, that there should be a limit to the number of parties to be registered, so that it will not look childish.
Smart Iwunze, a political scientist condemned the act. Smart who is also a successful business man from Abia State, and a onetime aspirant for the State House of Assembly, said ”Leave these people, they know what they are doing, if they like, let them register one million political parties, they are only interested in registering more political parties,
they don’t care about the effects of registering more parties, even if they register more 9 political parties now to make it 100 political parties, as far as am concerned, in the national level, there are only two political parties, APC and PDP, any other party is a mere club” Smart concluded.
All eyes are now on INEC , to see if the registration of more political parties will have any effect in making sure that there is free and fair election, as Nigerians are imagining how long the ballot papers will be and how many ballot boxes will be used to ensure credible and transparent elections in Nigeria.