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2027 polls: 25 new political parties apply to INEC for registration


2027 polls: 25 new political parties apply to INEC for registration

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Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, says 25 political associations have applied to be registered as political parties ahead of the 2027 general elections.

Yakubu disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the Public Presentation of the ‘NEEDS Assessment of Political Parties in Nigeria’, organised by the Kukah Centre and the European Union (EU).

The INEC chairman was represented by a National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Mr Sam Olumekun.

He said, “Despite harsh criticism that INEC has passed through, especially in the last couple of months, we have the National Assembly that emerged from the political parties. There was a time we had many political parties before they were pruned down by legal requirements to 19.

“As at today we have about 25 political associations that have applied that they want to register as political parties. If political parties are not functioning well, why are groups coming up to seek registration as political parties?” Olumekun queried.

Also, Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, represented by the Senator from Anambra Central Senatorial District, Chief Victor Umeh, said that since the return to democracy in 1999, Nigeria’s political landscape had witnessed significant transformation, which can be attributed to the relentless efforts of various stakeholders and institutions, including Nigerians and political parties.

He said, “We have witnessed the emergence and growth of diverse political parties, each representing the aspirations and dreams of different segments of our society. These parties have not only provided platforms for citizens to participate in the democratic process but have also played a vital role in shaping our nation’s policies and governance structures.

“However, it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge the issues that have marred our democratic culture. Lack of accountability, inclusivity, transparency, and impunity are some significant challenges that we must confront.

“These issues have led to a decrease in public trust and confidence in political parties. It is disheartening to witness citizens disenchanted with the very institutions that should represent their interests and safeguard their democratic rights. This we hope to change in the Tenth National Assembly.”

The founder, Kukah Centre and Convener of the National Peace Committee, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, said that in the absence of a coherent narration of its history, Nigeria and Nigerians often tried to find a series of alibis to paper over the visible cracks on the walls of their memories.

He said, “To say that the Nigerian political scene is a forest of chaos is to be charitable. That we are watching the big fish consuming the small fish is not out of place. Today, we have no collective political memory, no thanks to the disruptive and corrosive years consumed by the military.

“The quality of actors suggests very clearly that there are no teachers, no guardians, no mentors in our political history. The result is that we are witnessing an end to the age of innocence and the nobility of politics. This is not an inspiration to the younger generation who are likely to shun politics with the understanding that this is how things have been since the beginning.”