A conglomeration of 25 Nigerian political parties acting on the platform of the Inter-Party Advisory Council on Wednesday brainstormed in Abuja and demanded urgent amendments to the 2010 Electoral Act before the 2019 general election.
The parties also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission in its recent step to discipline erring officials involved in irregularities, corruption and malpractices in the Rivers State rerun elections.
While expressing satisfaction with the ongoing war against corruption, they prayed for the quick recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari for him to complete the reforms being put in place by his administration, especially the crusade against graft.
The parties include the Labour Party, Progressive Peoples Alliance, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Accord Party, African Democratic Congress, Democratic Peoples Congress, National Conscience Party and Progressive Peoples Alliance.
The conglomeration also had the Advanced Congress of Democrats, Peoples Redemption Party, United Peoples Party, Peoples Progressive Party, Peoples Party of Nigeria, Independent Democrats and Better Nigeria Progressive Party in attendance, among others.
Specifically, the parties, which recommended the scrapping of State Independent Electoral Commissions to protect the nation’s democracy, passed a vote of confidence in the National Chairman of the LP, Alhaji Abdulsalam Abdulkadir.
The National Chairman of IPAC, Muhammad Naldo, made the demands at a press briefing after IPAC’s emergency meeting held at the national secretariat of the Accord Party in Abuja.
He said, “We have 25 political parties here endorsing this resolution. IPAC is calling on the constitutional and electoral committees to work assiduously with the National Assembly to ensure effective and prompt amendments to the 2010 Electoral Act before the 2019 general election.
“We are making these demands because we want our democracy to be well protected. All those grey areas that have been very controversial and creating confusion should be addressed, including party supremacy. Let political parties be responsible for the nomination of candidates for election.
“We are also recommending the scrapping of SIECs to allow a level-playing field for all political parties to participate in elections. The SIECs are using INEC apparatuses to conduct elections, including party registers and ballot boxes. The only thing they don’t provide is the manpower. And if INEC can provide manpower for all elections, why can’t it do same at state and local government levels? The SIECs are not independent. So, we want an independent electoral umpire to conduct elections at state and LG levels.”
Reacting, Oyekanmi, who called our correspondent, said, ‘no comment’.