By Ismail Auwal
The Independent and National Electoral Commission (INEC) has ordered that all political parties submit membership lists 30 days before primary elections.
INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu issued the directive while meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners in Abuja on Friday.
He emphasised that the Electoral Act 2022 required all membership registers to be submitted to party primaries, congresses, and conventions no later than a month, and that failure to comply would result in a violation of the law.
“There is concern that virtually all the nation’s registered parties lack credible membership registers, despite claims of numbers and valid card-carrying members,” said Mr Yakubu.
“Let me also seize this opportunity to remind political parties that by the provision of Section 77 of the Electoral Act 2022; each party is required to maintain a membership register in hard and soft copy and to make such register available to the commission not later than 30 days before the date fixed for primaries, congresses and conventions.”
The INEC chairman disclosed that only one of the 18 registered political parties had complied with the directive.
“So far, only one political party has complied. It is a mandatory requirement of the law and all parties are required to comply,” adding that “Doing otherwise is like going into an election without the register of voters. There can be no credible primary or general election without a credible register of voters.”