The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented certificates of registration to the 23 newly registered political parties in Abuja.
Presenting the certificates to Chairmen of the political parties on Thursday, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the commission, said the commission would restrategise with security agencies for more robust response regarding the arrest and prosecution of vote buyers.
He added that vote buying is a cancer to the electoral process, and there is need to work together to address it.
"The commission is deeply worried about our elections, particularly the way it has become increasingly monetised. Vote buying is a cancer to our electoral process and we must work together collectively to stamp it out," he stated.
He said there would be no room for voters to expose their marked ballot papers between the voting cubicles and ballot boxes, adding that the commission will engage all well-meaning groups for more effective voter education.
Mahmood said the commission received 144 applications from the associations seeking registration as political parties.
He said: "I wish to congratulate the chairmen of the new political parties for meeting the criteria enshrined in the Constitution for registration as political parties. As from today, you are recognised as political parties under the law. From today, you also have equal status with any political party in Nigeria. This means that you can sponsor candidates for elections, including the 2019 general election."
He told the parties that they have an obligation to respect their Constitution, as well as abide by INEC guidelines and regulations. He urged them to make a difference in politics with elective representation by conducting open, transparent, inclusive and peaceful primaries for the nomination of credible candidates for the elections.
"By doing so, you will give Nigerians better choice, thereby adding value to our democracy, in strengthening the quality of elective representation,” he stated.
Yakubu pointed out that activities for the 2019 elections would commence on Friday August 17, 2018 with the publication of a notice of call, adding that the commission had concluded arrangements in all INEC offices nationwide for the exercise.
The conduct of party primaries will begin from Saturday, August 18, 2018 and will end on October 7, 2018.
Responding on behalf of the chairmen of the new political parties, Omoyele Sowore, Presidential Aspirant under the African Action Congress (AAC), commended INEC for the registration, and stated that Nigerians needed their cooperation most at this time to defeat the old order in the politics of the country.