Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will not recognise factional or parallel congresses by political parties, apart from those approved by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the parties.
The commission’s Director of Election and Party Monitoring (EPM), Mr Aminu Idris, stated this, yesterday, in Abuja at the Nigerian Political Parties Discussion Series (NPPDS) themed ‘Discussion on the Increasing Number of Political Parties in Nigeria and Access to Ballots in 2019 General Elections,’ organised by the Centre for Democracy Development (CDD) and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
According to him, INEC could not go to the field and choose which congress to attend as that would amount to something akin to INEC operating as a political party.
“INEC only recognises congresses conducted by the congress committee appointed and approved by the parties. It is the responsibility of the parties to obey their constitutions and their approved guidelines,” Idris stated.
The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, said disagreements at party congresses were normal everywhere but that the violence witnessed in the party’s congresses in parts of the country was condemnable.
The National Chairman of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Chief Peter Ameh, and the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Emmanuel Agbo, said there should be no hindrance to the formation and registration of political parties in the country.