Elections: 18 political parties not fielding presidential candidates

INEC office signpost
INEC office signpost

Eighteen parties will not be fielding presidential candidates in Saturday’s elections.

These parties are:

Congress of Patriots (COP)

Alternative Party of Nigeria (APN)

Legacy Party of Nigeria (LPN)

Modern Democratic Party (MDP)

Movement for The Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD)

New Generation Party (NGP)

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New Progressives Movement (NPM)

Alliance for Democracy (AD)

Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM)

Peoples Progressives Party (PPP)

Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN)

United Peoples Congress (UPC)

United Progressives Party UPP)

Young Democratic Party (YDP)

Youth Party (YP)

Zenith Labour Party (ZLP)

Democratic Alternative (DA)

There are 91 registered political parties, out of which 73 parties are fielding presidential candidates, leaving 18 political parties not fielding presidential candidates.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on January 17 released its final list of presidential candidates.

Among the 73 candidates, two parties; the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) have issues although both parties are listed on INEC’s final list.

ACPN has its name and the name of its candidate on INEC’s list but the party’s presidential candidate, Oby Ezekwesili, withdrew from the race even though the deadline for withdrawal and substitution had elapsed.

SDP, on the other hand, has only its party name on INEC’s list because the party failed to send the name of its candidate, due to court cases.

Some of the parties highlighted that finance was a hindrance to fielding candidates, while some said no one showed interest to run. PREMIUM TIMES could not reach others to highlight their reasons for not fielding presidential candidates.

Danjuma Ali, the national chairman of MRDD, said the party, due to economic circumstances, had to stop. Initially, the party had a primary and he was the presidential candidate.

He noted that after a review of the situation, the party decided to support the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari for a second term.

“My party had a primary. Personally, I was the presidential candidate of the party. But subsequently, we sat down and looked at all what we intended to do. Looking at (that), we discovered that (what) we intend doing, cannot, particularly on the economic aspect, cannot survive without certain key infrastructures.

“We discovered President Muhammadu Buhari is doing well, so, we decided to support him,” he said.

On the other hand, the national secretary of AD, Akinboye Fasogbou, said no one showed interest and the person who did from the diaspora did not show up.

He said although his party did not meet to take a unified decision, he could say the party was in support of Atiku Abubakar, being part of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) and Afenifere, who have both endorsed the candidacy of Mr Abubakar.

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