The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says groups that are “not strong enough” to become political parties should not bother approaching the commission for registration.
Festus Okoye, INEC national commissioner, said this while reacting to claims that some of the deregistered political parties were not given enough time to operate after their registration.
The commission removed 74 parties from its register citing their failure to meet some of the criteria stipulated by the constitution during the general election.
But some of them registered not long ago, including the 23 that were confirmed few months before the general election, argued they have not been given enough time to establish their footing.
But speaking during a television programme on Sunday, Okoye said they should have been prepared before the elections, and that INEC does not recognise any party as small or big.
“The 92 political parties in existence in Nigeria have the same political standing and footing. In the constitution, we don’t recognise small parties, we don’t recognise big political parties.”
“Because each political party has a certificate of registration issued to them as a political party. So, in the certificate, we don’t say, some parties are small or big parties.
“Constitutionally, there is no young or old party. If you are a political party, you are a political party. If you are not strong enough to be one, you can remain as a political association and build your structures.
“But the moment you present yourself as a political party the implication is that you have brought yourself within the ambits of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,”he said.
Concerning claims that INEC was hasty in de-registering the parties especially with local government elections yet to be held, the electoral commissioner said the constitution did not stipulate when the provisions will be implemented.
“What some of the parties are saying is that we should put the parties in abeyance and wait for them in a futuristic projection so that they can contest in a future election and meet the provisions of the constitution.”
“And as a public trust that has sworn to obey the law of the land, we don’t have the power and the right to do so”, he concluded.
Bayelsa Assembly Committee on Environment To Curb Unlawful Sand Dredging Activities.
With various complaints and pettitions by communities impacted by the activities of illegal sand dredging and mining in the Bayelsa State, the state House of Assembly has organised a public hearing on a bill to regulate the operations of sand dredging to ensure that the environment is not adversely impacted on.
The bill tagged ” Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operations Bill 2019″ according to the House Committee on Environment is aimed at gathering inputs from experts, technocrats and the public in order to formulate a people-friendly bill that will serve the best interest of Bayelsans.
The House Committee Chairman on Environment and member representing Nembe Constituency one, Hon. Ebi Ben Ololo noted that the public hearing became necessary on the need to remediate the environment and tackle the challenges posed by sand dredging operations in the state.
” The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized because it can save lives. You are aware a number of times so many communities and their representatives have sent pettitions to this House, specifically the Chairman House Committee on Environment as per the environmental degradation that has taken place as regards the illegal sand dealing and dredging activities in various communities all around the state”, he said.
“With those number of complains and pettitions we thought it wise to put up a bill to take care of those issues. Most important thing is that we all know that public hearing is a mechanism by which parliamentary Committees obtain information, deal with the information obtained and also exchange views with experts and the public so as to fine-tune whatever bill there is for the public hearing to come up with a top class bill that will be people- friendly and also save lives of the people in Bayelsa”, he added.
” Lots of suggestions, contributions, opinions and interactions have been made as regards this very important bill, like we have assured the representatives of the various groups that we will go back in our committee, look at those very important areas where they have suggested and also fine tune the bill. So that in no distant time we will come up with a very formidable bill that will stand the test of time. That the people will benefit from”, Ololo reassured.
He lauded participants for their insightful contributions and opinions during the public hearing, promising that the Committee would do justice to come up with a bill that would meet the expectations of Bayelsans.
In her contribution, House Chief Whip and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Hon. Ebiowu Koku Obiyai lamented the deliberate connivance between communities and the sand dealers, warning that if nothing is done to regulate the activities of sand dredgers Bayelsa communities will be eroded away.
The House Whip also expressed concerns on the activities of companies carrying out dredging business near bridges and sued a delibrate efforts by all in order to save the bridges from collapse.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
COVID-19: Dep Speaker Empowers PPE Producers, Underprivileged In Ahoada East LGA …Ready To Partner UNICEF
CROSIEC Deploys About 8,000 Personnel For LG Elections
Featured4 days ago
Our Development Agenda Is State-Wide- Rivers State Governor, Wike
News2 days ago
Bayelsa State Governor Diri Tasks Army On Agge, Oluasiri Bases …Seeks Cooperation On Arrests In Communities
News4 days ago
COVID-19: NCDC Confirms 5 Cases In C’River, As FG Dispatched 17-Member Team For Authentication
Featured2 days ago
COVID-19: Rivers State Governor, Wike Sues For Understanding
News1 day ago
Bayelsa Govt Advises Retirees To Remain Calm, Stop Lobbying For Payment Of Gratuity
Featured2 days ago
We Are Committed To Deepening Democracy, Says Rivers State Governor Wike
Featured4 days ago
Rivers State Government Lifts Lockdown On Bonny, Onne
Opinion2 days ago
Sokonte Davies And The Folly Of Speaking When Silence Is Better