Balarabe Musa says de-registration of parties is illegal and amounts to contempt of court

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar says political parties in the country should be reduced to only two in order to have a vibrant and workable democracy that would meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people of Nigeria.

But Alhaji Balarabe Musa, the Chairman of Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) disagrees with Atiku?s position. Deregistering registered parties he said is illegal as INEC has no powers to take such measures.

Atiku and Musa spoke to Daily Times exclusively in separate telephone interviews. They both were reacting to the de- registration of 28 parties which was announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday.

The former Vice President who spoke through the Director of Media of his campaign organisation Garba Shehu told Daily Times that two- party system is the best for the country. But he would rather a constitutional amendment to that effect.

?INEC has more work to do in order to meet his (Atiku) expectations on this matter. You know he has been saying it, that we should adopt a two- party system which he believes is the best for the country. It is his believe also that the change should be done in line with the on-going constitutional amendment. That is what he presented in the memo he sent to the committee,? he concluded.

Balarabe Musa while reacting told Daily Times that De- registration of political parties by INEC was illegal and a violation of section 40 of the 1999 constitution (as amended), describing it as dictatorial as well as evidence of incompetence on the part of the Commission.

?The government and its agent, the INEC has embarked on another illegality because of their desperation to hold on to what they have. They have been exposed as incompetent and dictatorial. They have to do something like this to undo the opposition,? the former governor of old Kaduna State said.

He however said that the de- registration like the ones done in the past will fail. ?What they want is one- party system because that will benefit them the more. They don?t want credible opposition. They did the same thing in 1989 during military era when they wanted to have one or two- party system so that opposition will be irrelevant.?

According to him, the present government is not different from the military because they do not tolerate opposition adding that he has suffered a similar policy in the past when his party the People Redemption Party was singled out for ban because of what the party stands for.

?PRP is the greatest opponent to them because we are opposed to the socio- economic system and the leadership they rely on to short- change the people. In 1989, they wanted to have a two- party system, PRP challenged them. In my own case, the military then exempted from participating in partisan politics. When I challenged them by forming the Peoples Liberation Party (PLP), they detained me. The party was party was launched in Lagos and immediately I came back to Kaduna they arrested and detained me for five months. I was in detention until they formed the NRC and SDP. Two days after that, they released me,? Balarabe recalled.

He rather scorned at the decision of INEC to tow the line of the military saying that the decision to de-register parties was an affront against the decision of the Supreme Court which ruled that they cannot do so and therefore contempt.

?This case is in a Lagos court between them and NPC. There is an injunction against INEC not to de- register any party until the case is concluded. But they don?t obey laws. What they have done is a clear case of contempt of court and we are going to challenge it in the court,? he said adding that the decision will not stand.

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