Opposition parties in Nigeria have agreed in forming an alliance, with plans to put forth a joint candidate to take on President Buhari ahead of next year’s presidential election. The consensus was made public on Monday.
Just last week, the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) had a split in ideology with one faction declaring the withdrawal of their support of Buhari’s government, putting the hopes of the former military ruler on shaky grounds if he were to secure a second term in polls scheduled for February 2019.
The Reformed-All Progressive Congress (R-APC), the splinter group, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and some 37 political parties are in the new coalition aiming to defeat the APC.
The coalition poses a major obstacle to Buhari’s re-election campaign as the split with the APC, could cause a rift for the incumbent president within the country’s political class and Nigeria’s electorate ahead of the 2019 election.
Earlier in April, President Muhammadu Buhari announced his plans to seek yet another term but his candidacy is depended on the approval of the party. Thought for the incumbent, it’s merely considered as a formality.
Reading from the memorandum which was drafted on Monday by the new alliance, Tom Ikimi of the PDP said ”The parties agreed to ensure the emergence of a joint presidential candidate, the leadership of the parties are hereby committed to work together in a Coalition of United Political Party (CUPP),” while adding that the modalities of such as alliance were still on be decided on.
The selection of candidates by political parties in Nigeria must occur between the August 18 and October 7 time frame.
As the leading economy on the African continent and top oil-producing country, Nigeria is pivotal in the fight against radical Islamist ideology and regional stability.
BaretaNews Foreign Correspondent/Analyst