A Federal High Court has halted the Independent National Electoral Commission from deregistering 31 ideological groups. The suit which was documented by 33 ideological groups followed the deregistration of 74 ideological groups by the appointive body prior in February. INEC had asserted it was practising its sacred rights to strip parties that didn’t meet the necessities to stay on the voting form when it declared the deregistration of the ideological groups. INEC was very experimental in its methodology. It simply didn’t approach uncovering the ideological groups arbitrarily, it utilized their constituent exhibitions in the last broad races wherein these ideological groups didn’t win any situate. Must a political party win to affirm its continued existence? The answer is yes.

Not at all like pressure groups, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations or some other political concerns, ideological groups are set up fundamentally to win races for being in government. What’s more, as indicated by INEC’s undeniable proof, these gatherings were discovered needing. All things considered, if INEC has the privilege to enrol, it is simply commonsensical that it ought to reserve the option to pull back such enlistment if and when important. Another approach to see it is that a political decision is an opposition. Also, in the same way, like other pro athletics, there are regular advancements to the principle class and transfers to the small-time following certain presentation benchmarks. What INEC basically did, as it has done before, is to “consign” these 74 gatherings for not satisfying their terms for staying in the head division. Other than these gatherings’ surveys execution, numerous Nigerians consider them to be an irritation on the ballot flummoxing the voter even more. Pleasing them makes the voting form paper pointlessly bulkier and increasingly costly to create.

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So, one wonders why these political parties are contesting a decision that was well celebrated by the majority of Nigerians if the vox pop in the electronic and wireless is anything to go by. If these deregistered political parties are dogged in moving against a seemingly popular decision, it presents them as political parties that could shun the voice of the electorate or that of established institutions for their own parochial interests.

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These parties have also not helped their cause in their wintry custom of hibernating from the political scene only to show up once in four years. They preach the “third force” or “third alternative” message only as it pertains presidency. Elections or politics is not only about the who presides from Aso Rock. Where was the third force in Bayelsa and Kogi? Is the voter going to have any for Edo and Ondo or other legislative off-season byelection besides the usual PDP-APC? In the last general elections, over 70 candidates vied for the presidency and an average of 40 per gubernatorial seats and 20 per legislative, unlike the big PDP and APC that fielded candidates for every elective post. This is where they keep missing it by keeping their eye only on executive seats. INEC’s requirements are simply to win a state legislative seat which in some constituencies is as small as a handful of political wards. Any serious party should be able to achieve that even if it is for the sake of retaining their registration and capitalizing for future elections.

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Unfortunately, because these parties are not pan-Nigerian in physiognomy, they are only seen as platforms for politicians who present themselves as puritans who are not the only discontent with the PDP-APC duopoly but also can’t align with any other already existing parties. They are bereft of any inclusive ideology outside the identity of their presidential candidates that is enough to capture any particular demography. At the end of the elections, their results appear only in hundreds, tens and units. Even the APCs and PDPs that have history, spread and cash, still bank on the sentimental votes of certain geopolitical regions or the endorsements of professional bodies, socio-cultural groups. But these small parties with serial failures keep wishing the electorate would uncharacteristically change their age-long voting patterns away from the dominant binary options.

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Another argument INEC’s action generated was the number of political parties that should be ideal for a polarized nation like Nigeria with her multiple complexities at the same time not disenfranchising certain ideologies or demographics. Like other established democracies, “market forces” of the political space have also forged Nigeria into a dominant two-party system where dozens of other “small” parties flex their muscles. It is the number of these other alternatives that are usually debated. One thing is clear, two parties have never been forced down the throats of Nigerians, aside from the fiat of the hoodwinked third republic. Nigerian democracy has always been multiparty, what irritates the Nigerian voter is pretenders on the ballot paper and not the number of options.

One can understand the nagging insistence of these parties wanting to participate in the general elections. First, they have the right to float a political party and in turn field candidates as long as they fulfil the constitutional requirements. Secondly, with the dividends of democracy still a mirage, they will want to continue to raise the hopes of the electorate as the alternatives to the status quo. However, they should be more tactical.

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I recently referenced the oligopolistic idea of popular governments that diminishes alternatives into indifferentiable decisions, with the goal that the dissimilarities of the main ideological groups are obscured. It is this misrepresentation of decisions this wonky appointive vote based system presents that is making the European and American balloter toss the bones on far-right populism. This is what is making the Republicans and Democrats in America, Conservatives and Labor in the United Kingdom, and different pairs of created majority rules systems to be less moderate and centrist to progressively recognizable crusades and philosophies. These little gatherings can take advantage of this. They should chip away at themselves and construct functional projects that are indigenous to them and offer it to Nigerians. They ought to likewise be straightforward and popularity based in their inside issues in light of the fact that PDP and APC may have a lot of misfortunes, both have continued hierarchical structure with enrollment that cuts across ethnic lines, open shows and primaries and so on. The way of life of simply picking anyone as flagbearers simply because the colleagues have a level of hutzpah host not benefited these little gatherings in any way. There ought to be an equitable way where invested individual individuals can strive and peddle for help among themselves before they are introduced to the bigger electorate.

At last, they ought to unhesitatingly wake up before the morning timer of the following decisions in light of the fact that INEC will again open the windows for party registration.

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Queenta N. Duru Iruka
A certified Senior Reporter/Advert Executive Evergreennewoline, Creative Writer/Graphic Designer/Political Analysts/ Entrepreneur & Fashionista



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