The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued certificates of registration to the five newly-registered political parties in the country.
The parties are Action Democratic Party (ADP), All Democratic People’s Movement (ADPM), Advanced People’s Democratic Alliance (APDA), New Generation Party of Nigeria (NGP) and the Young Progressive Party (YPP).
During the presentation of the certificates to the parties on Friday in Abuja, INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, urged them not to consider their registration as an end in itself.
He further said the registration should be seen as opportunity for the political parties to exercise their critical roles in the best interest of growing the country’s democracy.
“As you are aware, political parties are at the heart of our democracy. Under the Constitution, no Nigerian can contest an election conducted by lNEC unless he/she is sponsored by a political party.
“Similarly, under the Constitution, you are registered to operate as national political parties.
“As such, you should remain committed to the politics of principles and development of the entire nation as articulated in your party constitutions and manifestos which you submitted along with your applications for registration.
“You must eschew the politics of division, bitterness, mud-slinging and hatred.
“You must also be inclusive in all your activities by giving opportunity to all citizens, especially disadvantaged groups such as women, youths and persons with disabilities,” Mr. Yakubu said.
He assured the new parties would enjoy equal rights and privileges of recognised political parties under the Constitution, the Electoral Act as well as INEC’s regulations and guidelines.
“At sometime, the commission will continue to strictly monitor the activities of all political parties and will not hesitate to apply sanctions against any violation of the law governing the terms and conditions of your registration.
“I wish to remind all political parties that the law also provides for de-registration of parties. We shall vigorously apply this aspect of the law as the need arises,’’ he said.