As 2019 general elections in Nigeria approaches, here is a guide article post on how to join a political party in Nigeria and the full list of political parties in Nigeria
Every Nigerian has the right to join and register any political party of their choice. This is a fundamental right guaranteed by Section 40 of the 1999 constitution.
Under Nigerian law, any individual interested in running for any political office must be a registered member of a political party. Unlike some other countries where individuals can run as ‘independent candidates’, Nigerian candidates must be members of political parties.
So, if you have seen the list of political parties and you feel that you do not want to join any of them, because none align with your own aspirations and goals, you are free to form and register your own political party! The constitution gives you this right!
Politics is a multifaceted word. It has a set of fairly specific meanings that are descriptive and nonjudgmental (such as “the art or science of government” and “political principles”wink, but often does carry a connotation of dishonest malpractice.
Joining a political party is as simple as enrolling ones child to school. We must stop calling or seeing politics as a dirty game. A political party is a group of people who share the same views about how the government should be run and what it should do. Below are the guidelines on how you can join a political party in Nigeria
About Nigeria Political Parties.
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) website, there are currently 35 registered political parties in Nigeria.
Every Nigerian, young or old, should join a political party in order to have a say in the formulation of political ideology, development of policies and programmes and selection of candidates that emerge from the various political parties. It is not enough to simply show up to vote on election day.
If you’re not involved in the activities of political parties, then you’ll be forced to choose between whatever disagreeable candidates they might present at the election. This is particularly true because our political system doesn’t yet allow for independent candidacy. Even if it did, there are still more reasons to be part of an organised political party then to try to go it alone
The importance of being active in politics should be a no-brainer; yet its quite disheartening that many good people would rather remain on the fence because of a fear of tarnishing their ‘good’ names. This is a short sighted and defeatist viewpoint because ultimately your ‘good’ name will be dragged into a collective mire when the society degenerates because of a scarcity of good men and women at the helm of power. People will ask you where you were when the society was going to hell in a handbasket, without a compass or a whistle to raise the alarm
Reasons Why You Should Join a Political Party.
- According to the 1999 Constitution, you can only be elected into a political office if you are a member of a party. This point is reinforced by INEC in a recent public notice.
- Even if you don’t ever want to run for office, if you are passionate about politics, you should want a seat at the table when decisions are made about who gets to run for office. These decisions are generally made during party primary elections and only party members can vote in such primaries.
- Under our political system, the government is formed by the party that wins the election, whether at local, state or national level. While this is not a hard and fast rule, it is easier to become a federal, state or local government appointee if you are a member of the party in power.
- If you believe that the country is moving in the wrong direction, the first place to begin to change this is through the political parties, which in theory formulate the ideology, policies and programmes that their members will execute if and when they get into power. If you are as intelligent, exposed and experienced as you believe you are, then you should be able to make your voice heard within the party system.
- Parties are run with a relatively high level of secrecy. You will always be an outsider if you don’t join a political party. Of course, not everyone is built to be a member of a disciplined and hierarchical organization like a party. But when you’re young, politically aware and passionate about your country, there’s no better place to make your presence felt.
List of Political Parties in Nigeria as at 2018
- Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD)
- Alliance for Democracy (AD)
- Action Democratic Party (ADP)
- All Democratic Peoples Movement (ADPM)
- All Progressives Congress (APC)
- African Democratic Congress (ADC)
- Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA)
- All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)
- All People’s Party (APP)
- African Renaissance Party [ARP]
- Conscience People’s Congress [CPC]
- Communist Party of Nigeria (CPN)
- Citizens Popular Party (CPP)
- Democratic Alternative (DA)
- Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM)
- Fresh Democratic Party (FDP)
- Labour Party [LP]
- Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN)
- National Conscience Party (NCP)
- New Democrats (ND)
- New Generations Party of Nigeria (NGP)
- National Democratic Party (NDP)
- People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
- Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA)
- People Progressive Party (PPP)
- People’s Redemption Party (PRP)
- People’s Salvation Party (PSP)
- ACTION ALLIANCE (AA)
- Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP)
- Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN)
- Social Democratic Party (SDP)
- United Nigeria People’s Party (UNPP)
- United Progressive Party (UPP)
- Mega People Political Party
- Young Progressive Party (YPP)
Admission into Membership of any Political Party in Nigeria
- Membership of the Party shall be open to all Nigerians who are not below the age of 18 years, and who undertake to abide by the constitution of the party.
- A register of members shall be kept at the Ward level of the party and the register shall not be removed from the ward secretariat.
- The membership register maintained at the ward shall be authenticated by being signed by the ward chairman and the ward secretary.
- Register at his or her Ward of origin or where he or she ordinarily resides or carries on business; and
- Pay the prescribed registration and other fees before admission into the party.
- Application for membership shall be considered by the Ward Executive Committee, which shall have power to accept or reject any application. Provided that any rejection shall be subject to review by the next higher organ of the party.
- A membership card shall be issued to a registered member of the party, which shall bear the photograph of the member. The Membership cards shall be produced by the National Headquarters and authenticated by the National Chairman and National Secretary.
Procedures in Joining a Political Party
- Interested individuals are advised to visit the respective party headquarters at their Wards and seek the attention of the Ward Secretary (Each Local Government Area is subdivided into Wards for political purposes). The individual will fill a party registration form and provide supporting documents and payment as may be required by the party.
- Once registration is judged to be complete, a membership card will be processed and issued to the individual as confirmation. Then, the individual is referred to as a ‘card-carrying member’. Political parties typically hold weekly Ward meetings which members are expected to attend. A simple process, yet, requiring increased awareness and widespread documentation.
- The least expectation is that each political party manages a functional website, publishing therein its national structure – a breakdown of Zones, States, Local Government Areas and Wards with contact details for party officials at each level. An individual who seeks to join a political party should be able to pick an internet enabled mobile phone, browse the website for the party of interest, navigate the national structure down to the Ward closest to him/her, copy details of the responsible party official, make an inquiry call and/or physical visit.
- Information should be at the public’s beck and call. So, while the PDP site provides initial information on ‘how to join’, it needs to incorporate information and contact details down to the Ward level. It currently lists PDP State Chairmen with few of their contact numbers but excludes details on LGA and Ward officials.
- Moreover, each political party should fully explore and execute the option of online registration for prospective party members In enhancing our growing democracy, information on political processes and requirements for partial or total involvement must become readily available to the average citizen. The ease and speed of accessing reliable information are key success factors to increasing and improving political involvement especially for Nigerian youth.
- Joining a political party is as simple. just look for a party that ideology or programmes suits yours, then ask around in your neighborhood when and what time such party meets need to start 4rm your zone, then you will graduate to ward, then local government, then state. That is the procedure on how you can join any political party in Nigeria.
How To Register For Any Political Party In Nigeria – See Steps
STAGE 1 – GET ORGANISED
- You need a name, logo, and acronym of the proposed party (it must not be similar to any known registered political party, or have any religious, ethnic, or sectional connotation), therefore you can’t register a party like Christian Democrats or Muslim Republicans.
- You need to have a Chairman, a Secretary, National and State Executive Committee members – all officers must have been validly elected as you will need to provide INEC with the record of proceedings of the elections
- You need to have a draft Constitution, draft Code of Conduct and Manifesto. The Constitution should have provisions that deal with things like how elections are conducted, the administrative structure of the proposed party etc.)
- Your draft Constitution must also reflect the Federal Character principle of the 1999 Constitution i.e. all leadership posts must reflect the Federal nature of Nigeria and should be representative of the various federating units of Nigeria.
- The Headquarters must be located in the Federal Capital Territory – Abuja, and the proposed party must be present in at least 24 states.
STAGE 2 – SUBMISSION AT INEC
- You must pay a non-refundable fee of N1,000,000 (One Million Naira)
- Obtain the appropriate form- FORM PAI
- Within 30 working days, the proposed party must submit 50 copies of the completed form and 50 copies of the draft constitution and manifesto of the proposed political party along with all other required information
- Submit the documents with the names, signatures and residential addresses of the Chairman and Secretary of the proposed political party
- If all the supporting documentation is not submitted within 30 working days, INEC will terminate the application for registration, and the proposed political party will have to pay a fresh administrative fee of N1,000,000 (One Million Naira)
STAGE 3 – POST-SUBMISSION
- INEC will verify all the claims in the document for conformity with the Guidelines
- If INEC is satisfied that all the requirements have been met, the party will be registered, and a Certificate of Registration will be issued.
- If all the requirements have not been met, INEC will notify the political party of the reason for refusal
- The proposed political party may attempt to rectify any defect in the application within the 30-day period, without having to pay a fresh administrative fee of N1,000,000 (One Million Naira)
The above is just a brief summary of the process, if you do indeed one to set up a political party, you should not proceed solely on the basis of the information in this article. Setting up a political party is a massive endeavour and you will need to get proper experienced advice on the process.