Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The registered political parties that scaled through recent deregistration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday set up an Interim Management Committee for the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC).
INEC on February 6 announced deregistration of 74 parties over their inability to fulfil requirements based on Section 225A of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
National Chairman, African Action Congress (AAC), Dr. Leonard Nzenwa, at a press briefing in Abuja, said the decision was reached by the remaining 18 parties at an emergency meeting held to analyse latest political development in Nigeria’s electoral system.
Nzenwa said the decision was necessary in order to avoid vacuum in IPAC leadership.
“IPAC being the vehicle through which the political parties collectively engage with INEC and other stakeholders in the electoral system recognises that this sanitisation also created a vacuum in the leadership of the council.
“In other to ensure a seamless contribution of the political parties to our electoral development, the parties resolved to set up an interim management committee to run the affairs of the council.
“The membership of this is drawn from only the existing and registered political parties and shall serve for maximum of three months within which time a proper election will be conducted,” Nzenwa said.
Members of the committee include Nzenwa as Chairman, Alhaji Yusuf Dantalle of the Allied Peoples Movement as Secretary, Major Agbo of New Nigeria Political Party as National Publicity.
Other include: Mohammed Nalado of Accord Party as National Treasurer, Prince Chinedu Obi of National Rescue Movement as National Organising/Welfare Secretary, Abdul Isiaq of Social Democratic Party as Financial Secretary, and Bishop Amakiri of Young Progressives Party as National Youth Policy Advisor.
Nzenwa said the committee would commence work immediately with INEC and other stakeholders including the National Assembly “with a view to ensuring that the electoral reform processes which shall clean up our electoral system is elaborate and conclusive.”
“As political party chairmen, we are resolved to ensure that our polity, electoral processes and systems are re-jigged in such a manner to inspire confidence amongst all stakeholders especially as it relates to our members who are the electorate,” he said.
Nzenwa, while endorsing INEC decision, expressed IPAC mixed feelings about the deregistration exercise, saying the chairmen of deregistered parties had at many cases and various places stood up for Nigeria and defended her cause.
“Hence our mixed feelings and sobriety. We are still discussing the way forward for these our colleagues. However, the action of INEC flows from the provisions of Section 225(A) of the 4th Alteration No.9 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“It is therefore based on the lawfulness of the action of the commission, the desirability of the need to sanitise the electoral space that we, the 18 political parties in Nigeria, hereby endorse this bold step by INEC and commend it for this worthy cause,” he said.