The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has given reasons why it has registered new political parties, especially those ones it referred to as briefcase parties.
The Acting Director, Department of Election and Party Monitoring in the Commission, Hajiya Hauwa Habib, who spoke at a programme, themed: ‘Validation Session: Needs assessment of political parties in Nigeria, said that most of such parties have not met the minimum requirements of having a membership of 24 people from 24 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
“We see them as ‘briefcase political parties. Sometimes the Chairman and the Secretary hijack the political party because they registered the political party from inception and all the members were not necessarily financial members.
“The chairman, secretary, and treasurer continue to dominate everything about the political party. In their constitutions, they assign duties and schedules to every executive member. The Financial Secretary, Welfare Secretary, and Publicity Secretary are not allowed to perform their duties once the party is registered.
“In the long run when it is a year or two towards election, you find the secretary and the chairman struggling on who owns the party. Thereabout, you find factionalisation, they give us problems during elections, rush to the courts, and the courts are not helping matters.”
The programme, organised by The Kukah Centre and funded by the European Union, was part of the component III of the European Union’s Support for Democratic Governance in Nigeria.