INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu at the commission's Communication Policy Review workshop in Kaduna state on Monday, June 5, 2017.

The five parties were registered by the commission last week Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presented certificates to the five newly-registered political parties on Friday, June 16, 2017 in Abuja.

They are: Young Progressive Party (YPP), Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA), New Generation Party of Nigeria (NGP), All Democratic Peoples Movement (ADPM) and Action Democratic Party (ADP).

Speaking at the presentation, INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu said, "I want to assure the five new political parties that from today, you have equal status with all other political parties in Nigeria.

"The Commission will extend to you all the rights and privileges of recognized political parties under the Constitution, the Electoral Act as well as our regulations and guidelines.

"At the same time, I wish to remind you that from today, you are no longer political associations but registered political parties. As you are aware, political parties are at the heart of our democracy. Under the Constitution, no Nigerian can contest an election conducted by INEC unless he/she is sponsored by a political party.

"Similarly, under the Constitution, you are registered to operate as national political parties. As such, you should remain committed to the politics of principles and development of the entire nation as articulated in your party constitution and manifestoes which you submitted along with your applications for registration.

"You must eschew the politics of division, bitterness, mudslinging and hatred. You must also be inclusive in all your activities by giving opportunity to all citizens, especially disadvantaged groups such as women, youths and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)."

The chairman also cautioned political parties to desist from stoking tensions with hate speech as the 2019 elections starts to approach, saying that the commission won't hesitate to punish any such party.

"The Commission will continue to strictly monitor the activities of all political parties and will not hesitate to apply sanctions against any violation of the law governing the terms and conditions of your registration.

"I wish to remind all political parties that the law also provides for deregistration of parties. We shall vigorously apply this aspect of the law as the need arises.

"As we approach some of the outstanding bye-elections, the three governorship elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states and ultimately the 2019 general elections, the Commission will pay special attention to the conduct of political parties as well as their candidates and supporters.

"Hate speeches and other violations of the Electoral Acts attract appropriate sanctions under the law," he said.

The five new parties were registered by the electoral commission last week Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

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