Nine additional political parties on Monday 18 December joined the 44 member Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), an alliance of political parties with the aim of sacking incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari and his ruling All Progressives Congress in the February 2019 elections.
The coalition have since adopted Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party as their consensus candidate for the 2019 polls.
The nine parties are United Patriots (UP), Save Nigeria Congress (SNC), Peoples Coalition Party (PCP) and Reform and Advancement Party (RAP), Alliance of Social Democrats (ASD), We The People of Nigeria (WTPN), Change Party (CP), New Generation Party (NGP) and Alliance National Party (ANP).
This bring the number of CUPP member parties from 44 to 53.
The new entrants were received into the coalition by the Chairman of the CUPP Steering Committee, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
Oyinlola announced that another set of six political parties had already submitted applications to be part of the coalition and were currently been vetted.
He asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC to start preparing their handover note in the face of inevitable and “excruciating defeat in 2019” polls.
However, a major coalition member, Social Democratic Party (SDP) has pulled out of the alliance amid its own internal power wranglings. Their presidential candidate Donald Duke was sacked by a Nigerian High Court in favour of veteran politician, Prof. Jerry Gana.
The court ruling has been appealed.