Various political parties have partnered together to form a coalition that stives to prevent current Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari from winning a second consecutive term in the upcoming presidential elections. The coalition is made up of thirty-nine registered political forces, including one of the major ones, People’s Democratic Party (PDP). All involved parties have signed an agreement to form the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP). A PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan explained that the formation of the coalition is an indication of the public’s feelings towards the Buhari-ran government.
Ologbondiyan further stated, “More parties will still join the coalition and we will bring up a candidate whose capacity will trounce Buhari’s incompetence in governance. We are a nation of 185 million people. No alliance can be ‘so many’. Nigerians have already reached a consensus to source for a new president on the platform of the rebranded and repositioned PDP.”
However, not all are on board with this coalition. All Progressive Congress (APC) has dismissed the move claiming the efforts will fail. APC spokesperson, Bolaji Abdullahi insisted that, “We once again reiterate the commitment of our party to address real grievances of our genuine members. We call on them to take advantage of this opportunity while the windows for reconciliation are still open. We are confident that no level of gang-up can make our government under President Buhari to waver in its promises to Nigerians to rid our country of corruption and improve the quality of lives for our people.”
In 2015, Buhari was elected by securing 53.9 percent of the votes. He became the first opposition candidate in Nigeria to defeat an incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan, at the ballot box. He is also the oldest person to run as a Nigerian presidential candidate. President Buhari has a huge grassroots support. He was one of the few political figures in Nigeria’s history to crack down on corruption. However, Buhari’s decision to run again was not well-received by his political allies, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The CUPP intends to present a common candidate to run against Buhari. So far, Atiku Abubakar, former vice president of Nigeria, is the most prominent nominee so far to announce his intention for candidacy under the opposition platform.
While, the Nigerian public has expressed mixed feelings. The Nigerian youth, for instance, believe the political system is skewed towards political veterans. According to Al Jazeera, Chioma Agwuegbo said, “Same old politicians are aligning and forming coalitions to clinch or retain power in 2019; where does this leave the youth?”