By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has proposed stringent requirements for registration of political parties, rather than deregistering existing ones.
IPAC Chairman, Chief Peter Ameh, gave the recommendation in his remark during the INEC review of 2019 he general elections with political parties.
Ameh said that there is no doubt that the large number of parties meant greater tasks and responsibilities for the INEC and others.
“But we wish that we be encouraged that no sacrifice is too great to make for our beloved country.
“We also believe that as we continue to rob minds, we shall find ways of using our numbers for improved efficiency as we make things easier for ourselves.
“All hands must be on deck in making the Political system serve the Nigerian people better.
“In our view, the building of a consolidated democracy is not only the strengthening of certain institutions like the electoral system, judiciary etc, but also revitalised and newly created Political Parties, ” he said.
Ameh said that parties registered one year or less to the elections now had had their baptism of fire, lessons and experienced in the last elections.
He said that the parties ought be allowed to deploy their varied experiences in coming general elections.
“Democratic consolidation involves political competition becoming fairer, freer, more Vigorous; participation and Representation broader, more autonomous and inclusive.
“But sincerely in our view we believe that the registration requirement for association seeking to be registered as Political Party should be made more stringent.
“This should be reviewed immediately instead of registering and deregistering which will deprived the Parties to development and attain their full potential organically.
“We have observed that the evolution of multi-party democracy in Nigeria has led less post -election violence
“The more political parties participating in an election, the less post -election violence and bloodshed we have had.
“We therefore believe that Parties should therefore not be de-registered.
Ameh also proposed the establishment of Political Parties Registration and Regulatory Commission, and Electoral Offences Commission, for INEC to concentrate solely on elections and serve Nigerians more efficiently.
On the problems associated with transportation of electoral materials, Ameh proposed that logistics deployment should be outsourced to reputable firm.
“If we can allow individual licensed company to procure sensitive election materials and equipment like card reader, permanent voters card and ballot papers then this too is possible,” he said.
He is also of the view that Nigeria should not completely surrender the full gamut of its vote transmission process into full electronic system due to the danger therein.
“IPAC, is proposing a dual transmission process for election results, the commission should go full electronic while we still retain our old collation method from polling units, ward, LGA, State and Federal level to serve as fall back plan,” he said.
Ameh also called for the insertion of 35 affirmative action plan as parts of requirements for registration of new party to promote the issue of inclusively and ensure the full participation of women in politics.
“IPAC is proposing at least 35 per cent affirmative action plan insertion as clause for any association seeking registration as a Political Party between Section 221-229 of the constitution as requirement for the composition of its executive committee at all levels.
” This provision or proposal will put women on the table where decision(s) are to be taken as it relate to the management of Political Party in Nigeria.
“We have also recommended Proportional Representation for National and State Assembly elections.
“This is because we all know that some stronger parties deploy all sort tactics to ensure victory for their candidates but the other political parties also score in many cases, very high number of votes.
“Proportional representation will ensure that these votes get the parties some seats instead of the present winner -takes -all and loser loses everything situation that has made our elections a war theater,” he said. (NAN)