In Nigeria, four opposition parties have formed a coalition to challenge the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in future elections.
The coalition, which comes under the umbrella name of the All Progressive Congress (APC), includes the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).
“We are very confident that with this merger, Nigeria’s political landscape will not be the same again,” said Lai Mohammed, ACN spokesman and a leading member of the coalition. “And it’s a matter of time before you see the total defeat of the PDP as a result of this merger.”
He says the opposition alliance was formed with the aim of rescuing Nigeria from its current economic, security and political challenges.
“We are witnessing Nigeria today in the area of lack of security, in the area of corruption and [high] unemployment,” said Mohammed. “The alliance is going to give Nigerians a new lease of life and that is what Nigerians are expecting from this new merger.”
In a statement, the ruling PDP predicted the opposition coalition would not have any effect on its successes in future elections. The PDP has won every presidential election since Nigeria ended military rule in 1999.
Mohammed says the new merger gives the opposition parties a significant nationwide reach to challenge the ruling party’s election dominance.
“We are doing well in our individual spheres. But if you really want to checkmate the PDP, then you must be everywhere,” he said. “So we are now effectively in the Northwest, in the Northeast, we are effectively now in the Southwest and in the Southeast. So, with this reach, we should be able to confront the antics of the PDP.”
Clottey interview with Lai Mohammed, ACN spokesman