By Raphael Enwelu
Awka – Mixed reactions have trailed the deregistration of 74 political parties out of the 92 parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while some residents of Awka, the Anambra capital, expressed delight over the measure, others expressed dissatisfaction over the development.
Mr Emma Iloegbunam, a former member of the House of Assembly in the state, said that the measure was ripe and due in order to bring sanity in the nation’s polity.
Iloegbunam said the measure had brought the number of political parties in the country to a manageable size.
He also said that the action of the commission would help to make elections in the country cheaper and less cumbersome.
The former lawmaker also argued that the measure would create room for political parties to present serious-minded candidates during general elections.
Iloegbunam said: “This is a welcome development that we have long expected to happen.
“It shows that we are now becoming serious with our democracy.”
A civil servant, Mrs Adaora Okeke, however, expressed displeasure over the development, saying that it infringed on the right of Nigerians to form or join parties of their choice.
She charged INEC to ensure that the existing parties met the basic constitutional requirement of having a national outlook and devoid of ethnic and religious cleavages.
A farmer, Mr Obioma Uchendu, urged INEC to further prune down the number of the political parties to a smaller size.
According to him, “America has to make do with only two political parties, in spite of its large population.”
Uchendu said that the high number of political parties often made election cumbersome for the electorate, who had to go through a long list of candidates before casting their vote.