The Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday announced the delisting of 28 political parties. Affected by the deregistration are, National Reformation Party founded by late Chief Anthony Enahoro, Fresh Democratic Party which was chaired by Lagos flamboyant pastor, Chris Okotie, Balarabe Musa’s People’s Redemption Party, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite’s National Advanced Party and Democratic People’s Alliance of Chief Olu Falae. Though, INEC did not give reason for its action, it is being speculated that it was as a result of their inability to win any electoral seat in the 2011 elections. INEC spokesman, Mr. Kayode Idowu said that the reason for the deregistration has been communicated to the owners of the parties affected. Others deregistered are, Action Party of Nigeria, African Liberation Party, Better Nigeria Progressive Party, Congress for Democratic Change, Freedom Party of Nigeria, Community Party of Nigeria, Hope Democratic Party, Justice Party, Liberal Democratic Party of Nigeria, Movement for Democracy and Justice and Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy.
Others delisted include, New Democrats, National Movement of Progressive Party, National Majority Democratic Party, National Solidarity Democratic Party, Progressive Action Congress, Peoples Mandate Party, People’s Salvation Party, Republican Party of Nigeria, United National Party for Development and the United Nigeria Peoples Party. With the deregistration of 28 political parties on Thursday, the total numbers of political parties that had been deregistered has risen to 35. INEC, in August, 2011 delisted seven political parties. The political parties affected then were, Democratic Alternative, National Action Council, National Democratic Liberty Party, Masses Movement of Nigeria, Nigeria Peoples’ Congress, Nigeria Elements Progressive Party and National Unity Party. There were 63 registered political parties in the country before the deregistration of 35 of them. Thus, there are 28 political parties remaining in the country. However, as it was in 2011 when INEC delisted seven political parties, many Nigerians have been reacting to the deregistration. The National Publicity Secretary of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties, Mr. Osita Okechukwu said that INEC did not have the powers to deregister any political party. He said, “They are deceiving themselves. Jega wants to become a dictator and he has failed to understand the concept of liberal democracy. It is the electorate that determine the survival of any political party and not any electoral body. He is just wasting his time because power belongs to the people”.