Professor Mahmud Yakub, the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission said up to 80 political parties may be on the ballot in Nigeria’s 2019 election.
According to him, INEC had received over 100 additional applications for new political parties, while nine had met the criteria for registration.
“We may end up having up to 80 political parties for the 2019 general elections,’’ he said.
He also revealed that based on the recommendation of its Appointments, Promotion and Discipline Committee (APDC), INEC has suspended 205 staff over various unwholesome roles in the 2015 general elections.
Yakubu disclosed this in his keynote address at a national colloquium organized by the Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG) on Tuesday in Abuja said the number of staff sacked for malpractices was the highest so far.
“The credibility of an election depends on the credibility of the election manager; the credulity of the election manager depends on the credibility of the staff.
“The APDC recommended the interdiction of 205 staff found culpable in various roles they played arising from the 2015 general elections—this is the highest number of interdictions since the history of the commission.
“We have within the some of the most patriotic staff in the country, but anybody found wanting will be dealt with accordingly,’’ said the INEC chief who added that the commission's electoral officers were already in the field working towards the success of the 2019 elections.
“We have to put the right people in place as electoral officers and assistant electoral officers for the 2019 general elections.
He said that the introduction of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) had increased voter registration.
According to him, INEC had conducted elections in 179 constituencies so far WITH only five challenged in court, an indication of credibility of the elections, according to Mahmud.