As the race for the 2023; general election gradually gathers momentum, Nigeria’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC,) had said it has received more than 101 applications from groups seeking to be registered as political parties.
It would be recalled that INEC had after the 2019 general election deregistered 74 political parties due to their poor performance at the polls.
Nigeria currency has 18;duly registered political parties.
A report by the Punch this Sunday morning quoted the Deputy Director, SERVICOM at INEC, Olayide Okuonghae, as saying that between 2019 and December 14, 2021, about 101 political associations had applied for registration.
This was contained in a letter the commission sent to the paper in response to an earlier inquiry to that effect.
The letter read in part, “In reference to your letter dated December 9, 2021, the commission wishes to inform you that from 2019 to December 14, 2021, a total of 101 political associations have forwarded their letters of intent to be registered as political parties.”
Also confirming the development, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, was quoted to have said that the commission could not reveal the names of the associations because they had not been approved as political parties.
He said, “So far, a total of 101 associations have submitted their letters of intent to be registered as political parties. However, a letter of intent does not amount to an application for registration. An association can only be said to have applied when such application is in the prescribed form.
“The INEC designed application form is only issued after an association has received clearance on its proposed name, logo, acronym and address in Abuja and has also paid the required fee of N1m to obtain the form.”
The number of political parties in the country dropped to 18 when INEC deregistered the political parties.