HANDS OFF NCP!
Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) statement
HANDS OFF NCP!
STOP UNDEMOCRATIC DEREGISTRATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) strongly warns INEC and its mentors, the PDP, from carrying out their pro-rich, anti-poor agenda to deregister NCP or any other political party for that matter allegedly for failing to win any seat in elections.
We state boldly that the NCP was formed in defiance of martial military decree that forbid Nigerians to form political parties of their choice before the commencement in 1999 of the present so-called democratic dispensation.
Sadly the SPN notes that right from the inception of this so-called civil rule, the current capitalist politicians, through their representatives in the National Assembly, promulgated a very highly undemocratic and anti-poor conditionalities in the name of an Electoral Act to prevent the emergence of new political parties outside the three permitted by the erstwhile military rulers in an attempt to “control” the handover to civilian rule..
It took a lot of persistent political protests, supplemented by gigantic legal battle spearheaded by the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, the then NCP National Chairman, before the Supreme Court eventually gave a judgment that made it easier for new political parties to emerge.
THE ANTI-POOR, JUDICIAL CONSPIRACY
Against the above stated background, the SPN totally and vehemently rejects the pro-rich, anti-poor judicial approval to capitalist politicians’ quest to deny democratic rights to the masses by Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos on March 6, 2013.
The NCP had filed a suit on September 14, 2012 challenging the provisions of the 2010 Electoral Act which empowers INEC to de-register a political party that could not win a seat in elections.
In a patently pro-rich, anti-poor and undemocratic judicial cover up, Justice Abang had made the following pronouncements: “The National Assembly has the powers to enact laws, which include laws for the regulation of political parties in the country. In my view, there is nothing unconstitutional with the provisions of Section 78 (7) (ii) of the Electoral Act.
“If the law requires political parties to win either presidential or governorship seat or a seat in the National or state House of Assembly, in order to be recognised by INEC as a political party in Nigeria, then so be it.
“If this were not so, many groups or associations will be registered as political parties, such that it becomes difficult for INEC to conduct elections in Nigeria.
“It is my humble but firm view that NCP should do more than being a platform for a group of people with like minds and similar ideologies; they should do extra work,” the judge said.
“Meetings of like minds, in their own ideology without winning any of these seats as stipulated by law, will not in any way advance the course of our democracy. It is my view that the powers of INEC are very constitutional contrary to the contention of the plaintiff and remain unchallenged”. (The Guardian, March 7, 2013).
This judgment blatantly sided with the big capitalist elite who had always sought to prevent the emergence of pro-working peoples’ political parties and have recently been openly stating their desire to impose a two-party system on the country. That is why Abang said: “If the law requires political parties to win either presidential or governorship seat or a seat in the National or state House of Assembly, in order to be recognised by INEC as a political party in Nigeria, then so be it.”
The SPN boldly asserts that this argument totally fails to take proper cognizance of bourgeois elections in Nigeria where the ruling parties or military organizers of elections never stop at nothing to procure victory at all cost and by the most foul means for their favoured candidates at all elections! The SPN strongly contests that the current set of political leaders in the executive and the legislature completely lack the legal and moral right to enact laws that can only perpetuate the rule by looters under the guise of exercising powers to make laws for the regulation of affairs of political parties.
Consequently, the SPN expresses its full solidarity towards the NCP in fighting this obvious ruling class plot to de-register the party.
We are however wish to quickly point out that the resistance to this blatant assault against democratic right must not be limited to judicial process of appealing to superior courts. We urge the NCP members and all genuine organizations of the working and poor people to organize open mass protests to prevent deregistration of the NCP, a party borne out of the struggle of the past period.
Many former NCP activists who were involved in its struggle for registration are today striving to launch the SPN. Our objective is to rally the working masses and the generally poor to rally round our banner to proffer a socialist alternative that can ensure that Nigeria’s abundant human and natural resources are democratically utilized to cater for the needs of all and not just the few rich as it is under the present dispensation; a society where the ruling party or parties will have no need to prohibit the emergence of rival political parties. Once again, the SPN says: Hands off NCP!