Godwin Ezeemo, a front-line politician, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to de-register more political parties to further sanitise the nation’s electoral process.
Mr Ezeemo, who is a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Awka, Anambra State.
He said that de-registration of 74 political parties by INEC was a good move in the right direction.
According to him, the move would strengthen the nation’s democratic process.
Mr Ezeemo said that the de-registered political parties had failed to meet their obligations and lacked the ability to win elections.
He urged INEC to take further take steps to de-register other political parties that lacked the ability to win elections or even maintain the structure of a party, as a way to curb electoral violence.
Mr Ezeemo said that if the political parties are pruned to sizeable number, it would give room for improvement in the country’s electoral process.
Nigeria, he said, is still battling with problems of previous elections.
“Twenty years after the return to democratic rule and after six electoral cycles, political violence seems to be more due to many political parties that led to uncontrollable situations,’’ he said.
He attributed the political impasse in the country to many political parties that have no manifesto, but only helped to enhance electoral violence and vote-buying among others.
The PDP chieftain urged INEC to implement reforms in the electoral process as recommended by the Justice Muhammadu Uwais electoral reform committee and Sheik Ahmed Lemu committee on post-election violence of 2011.
He said that the 2014 National Conference report and other electoral reforms, as well as all major election observer reports, should be reconsidered for Nigeria’s democratic process to be at par with other democratic nations of the world.
NAN reports that the Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, had de-registered 74 political parties, leaving 18 as authentic political parties in the country.
Mr Ezeemo suggested that stringent criteria be put in place for political parties to meet before being put on ballot papers at elections.
He suggested such criteria as membership strength, national spread, financial resources and adherence to constitutionalism.