Political analysts have said that having 91 in a developing country like Nigeria was unnecessary and awkward and abysmal.
The Commission in a statement issued by Mohammed Haruna, its National Commissioner and Member, Voter Education and Publicity Committee, in Abuja said that it was the last round of the registration of parties until after the general elections on Feb. 16, 2019.
“This suspension is in line with Section 78 (1) of the Electoral Act, which requires all applications for registration as political party to be concluded latest six months to a general election.”
Earlier, Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had explained that the commission would continue to register any association that meet the legal requirements for registration as political party ahead of 2019 general elections.
“Once associations meet the legal requirements as political parties, the commission is under obligation to register them, but the law also provides for a period of six months to general elections.
He noted that as part of its duties, the commission would do what the law required of it, saying “if we don’t, they will go to the court and the court will order the commission to register them as political parties.
“But, we will not allow the commission to be dragged to court over a matter which we have responsibility under the law. So, we will continue to do the needful, ” he said.
A Professor of Political Science at the National Open University of Nigeria, Femi Otubanjo, told NAN that INEC was a victim rather than a villain in the act of registration of political parties.