Independent National Electoral Commission, on Friday threatened to deregister erring political parties.
Its Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, who spoke while presenting certificates to the recently registered five political parties, said that the commission would not hesitate to sanction any of the political party that violates the laws.
The new five political parties, who got their registration certificates are Action Democratic Party, All Democratic People’s Movement, Advanced People’s Democratic Alliance, New Generation Party of Nigeria and the Young Progressive Party.
With this, the number of political parties in Nigeria now stands at 45.
Mahmood told the leadership of the new political parties that the commission shall vigorously apply the law guiding the parties where necessary.
He said, “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.
“As we approach some of the outstanding bye-elections, the three Governorship Elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun States and ultimately the 2019 general elections, the Commission will pay special attention to the conduct of political parties as well as their candidates and supporters.
“Hate speech and other violations of the electoral acts attract appropriate sanctions under the law. I wish to assure all political parties that we shall continue to consult you as major partners in the electoral process.
“We will continue to work with the inter-Party Advisory Council in our shared commitment to improving our electoral process. ”
He told the leadership of the newly registered political parties not to see the registration of their political parties as an end in itself.
Rather, he said that the registration should be an opportunity to exercise the critical role of political parties in the best interest of our growing democracy.