CUPP: What the Coalition Portends for Nigerian Politics

There is no other place where the popular saying, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," comes into effect more than the treacherous and murky Nigerian political scene. So the announcement of the formation of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) on Monday, 9 July, did not shock anyone. 

If anything, it was a most welcome development. Social engineering that produced the CUPP is a sign that democracy, however imperfect it is, is here to stay in Nigeria. 

Aggrieved politicians in Nigeria have accepted inviting the military through the backdoor to settle their political scores has been buried on May 29, 1999, never to be resurrected no more. 

For such maturity, the mantra of democracy has been imbibed by Nigerian politicians, and to a large extent, their military apologists.

The coalition between the PDP and the 39 other parties involved in the power arrangement, however, is not entirely new to observers of the Nigerian political scene. Such alliance brought the ruling APC into power four years ago when the ACN, CPC and other parties gave birth to the ticket President Muhammadu Buhari rode into Aso Rock. 

However, there is a big difference. Ideology. The APC came into being on the mantra of change, change in style of leadership and service delivery from the government to the general electorate. 

The masses could identify with the Change mantra because it represented a departure from what the predecessor administration had brought into Nigerian politics. 

The socio-political engineering that produced the APC was a merger that became a registered political party which was fielded candidates for every office in the land in 2014. What about the CUPP alliance?

Besides being the brainchild of the PDP, the Coalition of United Political Parties reeks of a desperate ploy to oust the Muhammadu Buhari administration from office. 

A communique read at the endorsement of the MoU by one of the conveners, Chief Tom Ikimi, said the CUPP's objective was to vote out the government of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and rebuild and redirect the nation’s economy and security. 

Does the CUPP alliance have a manifesto? No. Does it have an ideology or guidance principle? No. 

All the public hear from the component members of the CUPP alliance is how they intend wrench power from the Buhari administration for the alleged intimidation, frame-ups, arrests and witch-hunting of its members.

Ironically, almost all the leading members of the CUPP have a court case bordering on corruption charges. 

The coalition agreed to zone all political offices to the six geopolitical zones of the country with the membership of the coalition directed to vote for only its candidates across all levels of elections. 

It is an open secret that consensus candidature harbours feelings of discontent among Nigerian politician because it arguably is an arrangement which favours the highest bidder. 

The CUPP alliance will throw up problems of its own because some people will express feelings of unfair representation and disenfranchisement by those on the losing end of the arrangement. 

It is a most shoddy arrangement and how 36 candidates will step down without rancour for one to battle the APC's anointed candidate remains to be seen.

What does the declaration of the CUPP coalition portend for Nigerian democracy? 

Desperate politicians will always change to rules in the middle of the game to gain undue advantage in the race to win political contests in the country. 

The consideration behind this particular arrangement was not people-oriented, it is a struggle to capture power from a president who would not entertain business as usual in his style of leadership. 

Muhammadu Buhari's uncompromising stance about his anti-corruption war and economic policies hit the political elite harder than the masses. That is why the clamour to effect a change in government is more among the political elite than the masses. 

What are the antecedents of the political actors involved in the CUPP alliance?

Therein lies the fear for the electorate heading into the 2019 general elections.

Will the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) produce a government that would provide free education, fix the dilapidated infrastructure, provide affordable health and create the jobs that will lift the Nigerian economy? 

Only time will tell. 

1 comment

  1. CUPP is a coalition of a bunch of looters. Buhari is still our choice