Political Parties in Nigeria: Controversial history, hilarious logos and funny slogans
-Nigeria and the Development of Political Parties
The Irish born political philosopher, Edmund Burke (1729—1797), once noted that, a “party is a body of men united, for promoting- by their joint endeavours- the national interest, upon some particular principles in which they are all agreed”.
Hence, by definition, a political party is an organised system of a group of people with a name label and an ideology, that selects, equips and fields in eligible candidates for elections into public offices in a state through constitutionally approved electoral processes.
Functionally, a political party is meant to educate the masses on diverse issues of governance and in turn, aggregates and articulates the multi-faceted interests of the people to the government as their major representative.
Background History of the Development of Political Parties in Nigeria
Nigeria is a widely known multi-party state. The history of the development of political parties in Nigeria is traceable to the pre-independence political parties which were championed by the nationalist leaders. However, it must be stated that some of the political parties emerged from previous socio-cultural organisations from different sections of the country.
The First Political Parties in Nigeria
(i) Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP),
Meanwhile, popular among the first set of political parties ever formed is the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP), led by Herbert Macauley, a Civil Engineer by profession and a grandson of Africa’s first Bishop, Ajayi Crowther. The party was formed in 1923, June 24, precisely, with the motto: “salus populi suprema lex”, meaning “the safety of the people is the greatest law”. Its key leaders were: Egerton Shyngle, Eric Moore and Curtis Adeniyi-Jones.
(ii) Calabar Improvement League- CIL
Perhaps, running at the same time with the NNDP was another party called Calabar Improvement League (CIL).
Lagos Youth Movement-LYM
Then came Lagos Youth Movement, LYM. Founded by Ernest Ikoli, Dr. J. C. Vaughan and others in 1934, Lagos Youth Movement (LYM) came on the hill of the NNDP. Soon enough, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe joined them
Nigerian Youth Movement-LYM
In 1936, the Lagos Youth Movement was given a national outlook with the name “Nigerian Youth Movement” (NYM), and they won many electoral seats in the 1938 elections, defeating the NNDP.
Following an intra-party rift in the NYM, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe left the party in 1941 with others. And in 1944, Sir, Herbert Macauley again formed the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon (NCNC), and served as the president of the party until his death in 1946, and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who had been the secretary all along took over as the president.
Other Political Parties
Northern Elements Progressive Union- NEPU
By August 1950, the Northern Elements Progressive Union was formed by Mallam Aminu Kano.
In 1951, the Action Group (AG) was founded in Owo (present day Ondo State) and led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo. This party originated from the pan-Yoruba cultural organisation, Egbe Omo Oduduwa — meaning: Society of the Descendants of Oduduwa) which was formed in 1945.
Northern People’s Congress (NPC)
Same 1951, the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) was formed and it was led by the Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Alhaji Ahmadu Bello — the great-great grandson of Usman dan Fodio that orchestrated the jihad of 1804 in Northern Nigeria.
The NPC, like the AG, emerged from a socio-cultural society named, Jam’iyyar Mutanen Arewa that accommodated the conservative elites in the North. With the motto “One North, One People, Irrespective of Religion, Rank or Tribe”, the primary aim of the NPC was to unite the people in the North.
Minor Political Parties
Asides the more popular NEPU and NPC, minor political parties were formed in the 50s. To mention a few, the United National Independence Party (UNIP) was founded in 1953 by Professor Eyo Ita, the Bornu Youth Movement (BYM) in 1954 by Alhaji Ibrahim Imam, the Dynamic Party (DP) in 1955 by Dr. Chike Obi and the United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC) in 1955 by Joseph S. Tarka among others.
Three Major Parties During Nigeria’s First Republic
Nigeria’s First Republic began on October 1st, 1963 and terminated in 1966, following the success of the first military junta in the country.
The major political parties in the republic emerged from the parties formed in the late 1940s and early 1950s as regional parties whose main aim was to control power in their regions. They were three in number: The Northern People’s Congress (NPC), the Action Group (AG), and the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon.
Meanwhile, the three dominant parties were ethnic and regional based parties – the NPC (Hausa-Fulani) dominated the Northern region, the AG (Yoruba) dominated the Western region, and the NCNC (Igbo) dominated the Eastern region.
Nigeria’s Major Political Parties Today
Like the United States of America, which has the Republican and the Democratic parties as their dominant political parties, Nigeria has the All Progressives Congress — APC (the ruling party) and the Peoples Democratic Party — PDP (main opposition party), as its major political parties.
For sixteen years, since the beginning of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, the PDP formed in 1998, had been in control of government until its eventual defeat in the 2015 general elections by the merger -party —APC, led by the incumbent president of the country, General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd).
The Number of Political Parties in Nigeria Today
Nigeria’s Fourth Republic which began in 1999 has seen the rise of many political parties, some of which have suffered moribund, and an eventual demise in the course of the years. Nonetheless, until February, 2020, Nigeria had about 92 political parties.
Deregistration of Political Parties in Nigeria
But a thorough constitutional check under the leadership of the present Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, as many as 75 political parties were forced to de-register, leaving only 18 constitutionally approved political parties.
According to the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the affected parties could not meet the criteria provided for by section 225A of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which include: “breach of any of the requirements for registration as a party.
Other reasons for their deregistration include failure to win at least 25 percent of the votes cast in one state in a presidential election or 25 percent of the votes cast in one local government area, and failure to win at least one ward in a Chairmanship election, one seat in the national or state assembly election or one seat in a councilorship election”.
Political Parties in Nigeria in 2021: Their slogans and mottos
The underlisted are the 18 constitutionally approved political parties in Nigeria which have also registered with the electoral institution of the country, INEC. Some are older political parties, while some are recently founded political parties.
1. Accord Party (AP)
The AP has the slogan: “Oneness and progress”.
Its National Chairman is Hon. Mohammad Lawal
2. Action Alliance (AA):
The party’s national Chairman is Hon. Adekunle Rufai Omoaje. The Action Alliance party has the slogan, “Let the masses live”.
3. African Action Congress (AAC):
This political party in Nigeria was founded on August 15, 2018 by the famous publisher of the Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, who is also the national chairman of the party. The slogan of the party is, “Take it back-action”
4. African Democratic Congress (ADC):
This party was formed in 2005 with the name plate ” Alliance for Democratic Change”, until it was renamed in 2018, and the former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo became its national Chairman.
5. African Democratic Party (ADP):
The national chairman of ADP is Yagbani Sani. The slogan of the party is “One Destiny”.
All Progressives Congress (APC)
The APC is a merger party of three former political parties in Nigeria, namely: Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP). The APC was formed in 2013. It’s slogan is “Change”. It has an acting Chairman: Mai Mala Buni. The All Progressives Congress has broom as it’ logo.
7. All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA):
The national Chairman of APGA is Victor Ike Oye. Its slogan is: “Be “Your brother’s keeper”.
8. Allied Peoples Movement (APM):
The party was registered by INEC in 2018. It’s national chairman is Yusuf Mamman Dantalle. The party’s slogan is: ” Nigeria First Nigeria First.
9. Labour Party (LP):
The labour party has “Together Forever as its slogan”; and Chairman Alh. Abdukadir Abdulsalam (Baraden Paiko) as the national Chairman.
10. New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP):
The national Chairman of the party is Dr. B.O Aniebonam.
11. National Rescue Movement (NRM):
The chairman of the party is Sen. Saidu Muhammed Dansadau.
12. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP):
The PDP was founded in 1998. It has the slogan: “Power to the people”. The current national chairperson of the party is Prince Uche Secondus. The party has umbrella as its logo.
13. Peoples Redemption Party PRP (PRP):
The national Chairman of the party isMallam Falalu Bello, OFR.
14. Social Democratic Party (SDP):
The national Chairman of the SDP is, Dr. Abdul Ahmad Isiaq (Acting Chairman). The party was founded since 1989, with the slogan: “… Progress”.
15. Young Progressive Party (YPP):
Founded in 2017, the national Chairman of the YPP is, Bishop Amakiri. The party’s slogan is: “Service to the people”.
16. Zenith Labour Party (ZLP):
The party’s national Chairman is, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu.
17. Action Peoples Party (APP):
The national Chairman of the Action Peoples Party is Ikenga Imo Ogochinyere.
18. Boot Party (BT):
The national Chairman of Boot Party is Adenuga Sunday. The slogan of the party is, “One Working Nigeria”.
NOTE: All the political parties in Nigeria share same secretarial—structural order. They have national Chairpersons, secretaries, financial secretaries, treasurers and legal advisers.