On Monday, July 9, 2018, the PDP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with about 30 other political parties with one goal in mind—

The alliance is called Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).

What is an alliance in politics?

An alliance is said to have occurred when two or more political parties come together for the purpose of defeating an incumbent or for the purpose of forming a government.

It is not the first time an alliance will be forged on the eve of a general election in Nigeria.

In 1964, a United Progressives Grand Alliance was formed. Ahead of the 1983 election, the Progressives Parties Alliance was formed. There were also alliances ahead of the 2007, 2011 and 2015 elections in varying degrees.

The difference here is that this is the first time in Nigeria's history that more than 30 political parties will be forging an alliance to grab power.

What is the difference between an alliance and a merger?

In an alliance, the political parties remain as separate entities and are only working together toward an election.

In a merger, the political parties collapse their individual identities and structures and dissolve into one entity.

What the PDP and other political parties did this week was an alliance All the parties who signed the MoU will present one presidential candidate but will remain as separate parties after the vote.

When does an alliance become a merger?

However, if these parties want a merger, they will need to dissolve their individual entities and proceed to INEC for registration as CUPP at least 90 days before the general election.

They will also require a CUPP logo, offices across a chunk of the States etc. That means the PDP and other parties like KOWA, ADC, AN, SDP will cease to exist as single parties and will be called CUPP. This is yet to happen.

Should the APC be afraid of the CUPP alliance?

There are whispers that about 30 senators and 70 house of representative members are bracing up to ditch the APC for the PDP.

The same grapevine sources say three governors in Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara and Samuel Ortom of Benue will soon join the R-APC and CUPP alliance.

Ahmed has in the past denied he's looking at rejoining the PDP.

There have been reports that Senate President Bukola Saraki is also preparing to leave the APC for the PDP.

If all of the above happen before the election, then the APC as we know it, should consider itself in trouble.

Like you already know, the APC now has a splinter R-APC camp, which means the governing party is being considerably weakened by the day.

Can CUPP pull this off?

Alliances don’t really guarantee victories as much as mergers would. There is the issue of all parties wrangling about what is in it for them, some pulling out and saying there were never a party to the entire thing from the off and clash of multiple egos.

It’s still early days, however, and the entire nation will be keenly watching how all of this plays out.