The Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) and 20 other new political parties got their certificates of registration from the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) yesterday in Abuja.
Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC chairman, who presided over the ceremony, had in November 2017, announced the registration of the 21 associations as political parties.
Protem National Chairman of the ANN Dr. Jay Osi Samuels, said with the completion of the registration process and collection of certificate, the party would present itself as a viable alternative to the two dominant parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) which has said had been “found wanting in the last 19 years.”
According to Samuels, the certificate collection “is a major milestone in the history of this party.’
He added: “For us, the work has only just begun. We shall be spreading the ANN message of hope for a new Nigeria to the nooks and crannies of this country. We will intensify our membership drive as we intend to surpass our baseline target of 10 million registered members by October.
“We are going to continue to create awareness about our party as the only true and credible alternative for emergence of good governance in Nigeria. We are fully committed to engendering generational leadership change in the country as the current generation of leaders has clearly demonstrated that they lack the vision and capabilities to make one of the biggest economies in the world,” he added.
He said the party would conduct its elective National Convention in the first quarter of this year where substantive national officers will be elected
One of the parties that got certificates is the Justice Must Prevail Party (JMPP) led by fiormer PDP presidential aspirant Mrs Sarah Jubril.
INEC had previously issued the Certificate of Registration to the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) following a Federal High court order bringing to 22 the number of newly-registered parties. The total number of registered party is now 68. More parties may still be registered before the 2019 general elections because 25 of the 90 fresh applicants have moved to the next stage after scaling the first huddle.
Prof. Yakubu said INEC is capable of meeting the challenges of grappling with 105,944 candidates as a result of increase in the numbers of political parties.
He said: “The number of political parties is good for our plural democracy. However, political parties must cooperate with the Commission for successful elections. If each of the 68 political parties in Nigeria today fields candidates for all the 1,558 constituencies to be contested in the 2019 General Elections, the Commission will grapple with 105,944 candidates.
He noted that the key to success is “forward planning and that is why we took the unprecedented step of releasing the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 General Elections in good time”.
He appealed to political parties to adhere strictly to the 2019 election timelines; saying the “Commission will not hesitate to reject the submission by any party that violates the timelines.”