We’ve abused democracy with 91 parties – Duyile
By Mary Agidi
Sequel to the recent claim by the Independent National Electoral Committee, INEC, that the 91 registered political parties contributed to its low performance during the last general elections, a call has been made to the National Assembly to find a way to limit the number, without compromising the principles of democracy.
Making this call was the Ondo state Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Chief Korede Duyile in an interview with The Hope.
Duyile who agreed that the numbers of political parties really affected voters during the election which led to the cancellation of votes, however, disagreed with INEC that it was the reason for its low performance.
He blamed INEC for lack of commitment to conduct a free and fair elections, noting that the commission had enough time to plan, but still allowed manipulations.
According to him, the large lists of political parties on the ballot papers constituted problems for even the literate one while searching for the party of their choice, let alone the illiterates, hence, the need for a reconsideration in the numbers of registered parties.
He emphasized the need for orientation and education for Nigerians to tolerate one another in a group or party in order to curb the indiscriminate registration of political parties by every dick and harry.
The SDP Chairman noted that, though, in a democratic system, there is a room for multiple parties, in a situation of abuse like in Nigeria, something must be done to limit it.
“Ordinarily, in a democracy, there should not be a limit to number of political parties, but we have abused that. In most cases, you see a family and friends come together and form a political party, only to use it for negotiation, not because they really want to contest.
“ To that extent, it is not healthy for our democracy; There is a need for reconsideration, there should be a way of limiting the numbers of parties. The legislature should look critically into this and pass enabling laws because as it is now, INEC cannot unilaterally change”, he said.