The United Progressive Party (UPP) national chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie, has flayed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for deregiatration of 74 political parties in Nigeria, saying that INEC misfired by deregistering 74 political parties and retaining 18 others.
According to Chief Okorie the action of INEC could derail democracy and thus turn back the hand of the clock.
“I have always been of the view that INEC is indulging in avoidable controversy and destruction of democracy.”
Okori said that by deregistering some political parties without first getting the legislative backing from the National Assembly, the INEC was out to disrupt democracy in Nigeria.
Speaking about his party, being one of the parties INEC early in February deregistered, Chekwas said the UPP did not panic neither did they go to court because they knew that their party was duly registered and met all the criteria for registration and never feared that it would be deregistered.
“We were not among those that went to court to challenge the decision to deregister political parties. We have scheduled to hold our meeting on Thursday to take a collective decision on the deregulation.
“We never entertained fear that UPP will be deregistered. As the party chairman, I’ll lay the card on the table and the party will decide what to do. We practice internal democracy. No faction. We are a democratic party,” Okorie said.
The UPP boss said that Nigeria does not even have enough political parties because, according to him, Benin Republic that is not as big as Nigeria has about 100 political parties.
He posited that INEC erred by not considering other factors that determine the registration of a political party but relied only on the parties winning elections as a criterion to be a registered party alone.
“UPP is duly registered and has functional offices and staff all over the federation and cannot be deregistered,” he posits.
He said that for a political party to be registered, it must have a functional secretariat, so that the party structure is maintained and sustained.
Recall that a Federal High Court in Abuja Monday barred INEC from deregistering 31 political parties hitherto announced to have been deregistered.