On Sunday, January 6, 2019, Adekunle Akinlade, governorship candidate of Allied Peoples Movement (APM) in Ogun State, claimed on Sunday Politics on Channels TV that 60 political parties were rooting for Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s current president and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Sixty political parties are supporting President Buhari,” Akinlade said.
“This is not a new thing in our politics. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP). But we believe in him and his manifesto,” he added.
BusinessDay has decided to fast-check this claim to ascertain its veracity or otherwise.
Checks on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) website shows that there are 91 political parties today.
On 14th August 2018, INEC registered 23 more political parties, bringing the number of political parties to 91.
“At its regular meeting today, Tuesday, August 14, 2018, INEC took a number of decisions: the commission approved the registration of 23 new political parties. It had received a total of 144 applications from political associations seeking registration as political parties,” Mohammed Haruna, national commissioner and member, Voter Education and Publicity Committee of INEC, said.
“This brings the number of political parties to 91 and will be the last round of registration of parties until after the general elections on February 16, 2019. This suspension is in line with Section 78 (1) of the Electoral Act, which requires all applications for registration as political party to be concluded latest six months to a general election,” he added.
On December 5, 2018, it was reported by almost all the newspapers, including BusinessDay, that 45 political parties had come together under Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) to formally adopted Atiku Abubakar, PDP presidential aspirant, as its presidential candidate in 2019 elections.
“We must prove to them that we are the masters in this enterprise and tell them that the Nigerian people would not follow them (APC) to the ‘The Next Evil’ scheme they have designed for our country. Millions of our suffering compatriots are looking up to us for deliverance and we must not disappoint them,” Olagunsoye Oyinlola, chairman of CUPP and former governor of Osun State, said in Abuja at the opening of a meeting of all the national chairmen.
If you add Abubakar’s party—PDP— to 45, it will mean that 46 parties adopted him that day.
A simple calculation shows that subtracting 46 parties from 91 registered parties leaves us with 45.
This means that there are 45 parties that are not part of Abubakar’s CUPP. But 45 is still fewer than 60, meaning that it is impossible for 60 parties to support Buhari.
It is also not possible that all the 45 parties are supporting Buhari.
Oby Ezekwesili, presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), is not part of CUPP and does not want to have anything to Buhari. She has lampooned Buhari on almost all angles.
For instance, on October 10, 2018, Jim Yong Kim, immediate past president of the World Bank Group, said that Nigeria unfortunately ranked 152nd out of 157 countries in Human Development index.
In her response, Ezekwesili said, “This is a failure of leadership on the part of this government led by President Muhammadu Buhari. And this failure is, as I keep saying, urgently unsustainable.
“Nigeria has no business being in the lower rungs of the Human Capital Development index. The report is simply the result of a leadership that does not value its citizens enough to empower them holistically,” she said.
“With my experience advising some of the most reform-minded governments on our continent, and building economies across Africa, it becomes even more heart-breaking to see the basic steps we must take to revamp our economy, to revamp human capital investment and to move forward on these crucial indicators. This failure has to end,” she added.
Another candidate that has dissociated himself from CUPP or Buhari is Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate for African Action Congress.
“It is time for Kogi people to say enough once and for all so that we can truly liberate Nigeria and become the leaders we were promised while we were in school. The AAC is set to send the shameless fathers like Buhari who have refused to let go of power back to Daura. The roads here are terrible; it’s a sign that the people you have voted for have failed you. They do not remember you, save for election cycles when they bring a miserly N4,000, and you never hear from them again. Vote for me come February 16 and watch Nigeria transform before your eyes,” Sowore said at a mega rally in Kogi State on January 6, 2019.
Though the comments of the two presidential candidates about Buhari may be subject to different subjective analyses, the fact is that 45 is not 60.
This means that Akinlade’s claims on 60 political parties supporting Buhari is largely false.