Nigeria officially has 68 registered political parties the Independent Electoral Commission of Nigeria (INEC) has disclosed.
The INEC chair, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, was speaking when 22 new political parties were issued certificates of registration on Wednesday (January 10, 2018).
The new parties which cut across the country’s geopolitical zones were issued the certificates at the INEC headquarters in the administrative capital, Abuja.
The numbers of new political parties has risen to 22 in addition to the 46 parties already in existence. this means that the total number of political parties in Nigeria today stands at 68.
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. Its politics is currently dominated by two main forces – the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP lost political power in 2015 after ruling the country for 16 years prior. They produced three presidents over the period. Olusegun Obasanjo, the late Umaru Musah Yar Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.
Jonathan lost the last presidential election to incumbent Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari’s tenure expires in 2019 when new elections are to be held. Buhari is widely expected to run for a second term.
INEC oversees all elected office elections from the presidential, gubernatorial, national assembly – senate and house of representatives, local level etc. It has only recently published its general election guidelines.
Political watchers say it is highly likely that most of these parties will not field candidates across the country due to capacity issues, a number of them will enter alliances with the major parties and field aspirants in areas they see as their strongholds.