10 Nigerian Political Parties and Their Origin Stories

August 15, 2022

You might think only two political parties are stressing your life as a Nigerian, but there are actually 18 of them. How did they come to be, and what’s their origin story? We’ve dug up the stories of the biggest ten, so we can gist you.

All Progressives Congress (APC)

Founded: 2013

National Chairman: Abdullahi Adamu

This broomstick party blew up like a fintech startup and took everywhere by storm in the 2015 elections. Taking one more cue from the tech world, they were formed through a merger of three parties — the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), and the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP). They even had factions join them from the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

As if all the pepper these parties showed us before then wasn’t enough, they had to band together to form the biggest crew of pepper-sprayers we’ve known to date. And in 2023, they’re gearing up to show us even more pepper by fielding Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima as presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

People’s Democratic Party

Founded: 1998

National Chairman: Iyorchia Ayu

This party had 16 years of uninterrupted rule over Nigeria’s affairs. They’ve taken us through good times and bad, and are now acting like that toxic ex who keeps trying to convince us they’re the best we’ve ever had.

This party was formed in 1998 and had its first presidential primary election in Jos, Plateau, in which Olusegun Obasanjo was nominated as the presidential candidate, and Atiku Abubakar, his vice presidential candidate. This party won every presidential election from 1998 to 2015 when they got bounced by the APC.

For the 2023 elections, they’re fielding Atiku Abubakar as their presidential candidate and Ifeanyi Okowa as the vice presidential candidate. 

Labour Party (LP)

Founded: 2002

National Chairman: Julius Abure

This party sounds like a new one but has actually been around for a while. It was formed in 2002 back when the exchange rate was ₦120 to $1. It used to be called the Party for Social Democracy, but it seems someone in the party realised they needed something hip and moved for them to change the name to Labour Party after the 2003 general elections. This name is so clean, it’s giving startup vibes. They do believe in social democracy, so if you’re wondering what they want Nigeria to look like, think Sweden.  

They’re fielding Peter Obi and Yusuf Datti-Ahmed as their presidential and vice presidential candidates for the 2023 elections.

Social Democratic Party

Founded: 1989

National Chairman: Vacant

This party is one of the oldest active parties in Nigeria at the moment. But what we don’t understand is how they’ve managed to hold only a tiny fraction of the seats in all political positions in the country. The party was created alongside the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida as part of a democracy project to detribalize Nigerian politics. NRC died, while SDP stuck around. Their main agenda is to improve welfare and promote social justice.

Even though you may not have heard a lot about this party in mainstream politics, it has had some of the most notable Nigerians as members in the past. People like Rabiu Kwankwaso, Jerry Gana, Umaru Yar’adua, Atiku Abubakar and Bola Ahmed Tinubu. In fact, the popular June 12 elections had SDP as the winning party, as M.K.O Abiola was the presidential candidate of the party.

For the 2023 elections, this party is fielding Prince Adewole Adebayo as its presidential candidate and Nafisa Mohammed Bolori as its vice presidential candidate.

All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)

Founded: 2003

National Chairman: Victor Oye

There’s a hot contest about who really founded this party, between Chekwas Okorie and Chukwuemeka Ojukwu. But we know two things for sure: this party was founded in 2003, and its first presidential candidate was Chukwuemeka Ojukwu. He didn’t win the election, but the party went on to win two seats in the House of Representatives. Today, they only have four seats in the House of Representatives.

Next year, we’ll see this party in the election scene with strange names like Professor Peter Umeadi as the presidential candidate and Abdullahi Koli as his running mate. 

RELATED: What Vibe Do These 10 Nigerian Political Parties Give Off?

Young Progressives Party (YPP)

Founded: 2017

National Chairman: Bishop Amakiri

We’ve said it before, this party gives us stealth startup vibes. They started out as a political association in 2016 and didn’t get registered until 2017. They were formed on the basis of social democracy to fight for social justice and provide equal opportunities for all Nigerians. The only problem is they only won one of the 109 seats in the Nigerian senate during the 2019 elections. 

They’ve fielded popular names before; Professor Kingsley Moghalu emerged as the presidential candidate of the party in 2019. For the coming elections [2023], Prince Malik Ado-Ibrahim is the party’s presidential candidate.

New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP)

Founded: 2001

National Chairman: Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali

This party is also one of the oldies as it was founded in 2001 by Boniface Aniebonam. They’re as old as GSM’s stay in Nigeria. The party is currently fielding the former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, as its presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.


Founded: Unknown

National Chairman: Hon. Mohammad Lawal Nalado

This party was founded by the former Oyo State governor, Rashidi Ladoja, but no one really remembers when. He ditched his own party and defected to the People’s Democratic Party in 2017. The party only won one seat in the House of Representatives, but they’re sure they’ll give Nigeria its next president. They’re fielding Professor Christopher Imumolen as their candidate for the 2023 presidential elections.

Allied People’s Movement (APM)

Founded: 2018

National Chairman: Yusuf Dantalle

Not much is known about this party asides from the fact that they were officially registered with the INEC in 2018. While they were an unofficial party, they endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari’s candidacy in 2015. Currently, they’re looking to enter Aso Villa themselves by fielding Yusuf Dantalle as their presidential candidate for the 2023 elections. It just might be the only party that has the national chairman running for president.

People’s Redemption Party (PRP)

Founded: 1978

National Chairman: Mallam Falalu Bello

As far as we can tell, this party is the longest surviving in Nigeria. It really takes the cake as the last man standing from the last generation. The party was created by the supporters of Mallam Aminu Kano after his withdrawal from the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in 1978. They were initially banned by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, during his first shift as Nigeria’s Head of State, but resurfaced in the 90s and have been unable to gather the same level of support.

The party is fielding Kola Abiola, the son of M.K.O Abiola, as its presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.

NEXT READ: How Much Are Nigerian Parties Charging Aspirants to Run for Office?

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