The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) has presented certificates of registration to the 12 newly registered political parties, saying that they have equal status with any parties.
The chairman of the commission, Mahmood Yakubu who made the presentation on Wednesday in Abuja to the chairmen of the parties noted that the commission will give equal treatment to all registered political parties.
According to him, "for the 21 new political parties, it is pertinent to always remember that your certificates of registration not only formalize your status as political parties but also confer obligations on you to operate within the requirements of the law at all times."
He explained that the commission in compliance with the judgment of the Federal High Court has registered the Socialist Party of Nigeria ( SPN ) bringing the number of new political parties to 22 in addition to 46 parties already in existence. He added that the total number of political parties in Nigeria now stands at 68.
The chairman urged the new parties to engage Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism ( ADR ) to resolve any misunderstanding that may occur within and among the parties.
Yakubu stated that conflicts within political parties affect the commission's preparation for elections just as disputes among political parties on candidature for election.
In his words: "The number of political parties is good for plural democracy however political parties must cooperate with the commission for a successful election."
He assured Nigerians that the commission is up to the task despite the enormous challenges of providing ballot papers for a projected 80 million registered voters, ad hoc staff and the requirements for forward and reverse logistics, monitoring of political parties primaries, electioneering campaign among other.