Few days after deregistration of 74 political parties, the leadership of the 18 remaining parties has set up an Interim Management Committee for the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC).
National Chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC), Leonard Nzenwa, disclosed this while addressing journalists shortly after an emergency meeting of the 18 political parties on Tuesday in Abuja.
Those at the meeting included representatives of Accord, Action Alliance (AA), AAC, APM, NNPP, NRM, SDP, YPP and Action Peoples Party (APP).
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on February 6 announced deregistration of 74 parties over their inability to fulfil requirements for existence based on Section 225A of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Mr Nzenwa, who spoke on behalf of the parties, said the decision to set up the Committee was necessary in order to avoid a vacuum in IPAC leadership.
Before the de-registration of the 74 parties last week, IPAC was led by Peter Ameh, national chairman of the Progressives People’s Alliance (PPA). Mr Ameh and members of his executives were elected in September 2018.
“IPAC being the vehicle through which the political parties collectively engage with INEC and other stakeholders in the electoral system recognises that this sanitisation also created a vacuum in the leadership of the Council,” Mr Nzenwa said on Tuesday.
“In other to ensure the seamless contribution of the political parties to our electoral development, the parties resolved to set up an interim management committee to run the affairs of the council.
“The membership of this is drawn from only the existing and registered political parties and shall serve for a maximum of three months within which time a proper election will be conducted.”
Members of the committee were Mr Nzenwa- Chairman; Yusuf Dantalle of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Secretary; Major Agbo of New Nigeria Political Party (NNPP), National Publicity.
Others were Mohammed Nalado of Accord Party (A), National Treasurer; Chinedu Obi of National Rescue Movement (NRM), National Organising/Welfare Secretary; Abdul Isiaq of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Financial Secretary; and Bishop Amakiri of Young Progressives Party (YPP), National Youth Policy Advisor.
Mr Nzenwa said the committee would commence work immediately with INEC and other stakeholders including National Assembly “with a view to ensuring that the electoral reform processes which would clean up our electoral system was elaborate and conclusive.
“As political party chairmen, we have resolved to ensure that our polity, electoral processes and system are rejigged in such a manner to inspire confidence amongst all stakeholders especially as it relates to our members who are the electorate.”
Mr Nzenwa, while endorsing INEC decision, expressed IPAC mixed feelings about the deregistration, saying the chairmen of deregistered parties had at different times stood up for Nigeria and defended its cause.
“Hence our mixed feelings and sobriety. We are still discussing the way forward for these our colleagues.
“However, this action of INEC flows from the provisions of Section 225(A) of the 4th Alteration No.9 of the 1999 Constitution as Amended.
“It is therefore based on the lawfulness of the action of the Commission, the desirability of the need to sanitise the electoral space that we the 18 political parties in Nigeria hereby endorse this bold step by INEC and commend it for this worthy cause.
“It is this will to implement the law despite whose ox is gored that we require for our nation building.’’
Mr Ameh could not be reached for comments.