Historical Perspective and Analysis of Political Parties in Nigeria – 1923 to 2022

By Livinus Nnebedum

The first political party called Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) was formed in 1923. This was due to the influence of the press and journalists who played prominent role in formation of early political parties in Nigeria. The NNDP was co-founded by Horatio Jackson editor of the Lagos Weekly Record and Herbert Macaulay of the Lagos Daily News (Dr. Chude Okonkwor, UNN 1978).

The three main parties before the advent of the Military Regime in 1966 were:

National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC)

Action group (AG)

Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM)

In 1944 Herbert Macaulay was elected President of NCNC and Zik the first General Secretary. In 1936 NYM was formed.

Other early political parties include:

Northern People Congress (NPC)

United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA)

United Middle Belt Congress

The main political parties in existence about 1980’s with their Presidential candidates:

Nigeria People Party (NPP) – Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (ZIK)

National Party of Nigeria (NPN) – Alhaji Shehu Shagari

Great Nigeria Peoples Party (GNPP) – Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim

Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) – Chief Obafemi Awolowo

Peoples Redemption Party – (PRP) – Alhaji Amino Kano

Nigeria  Advance Party (NAP) – Mr. Tunji Braithwaite

In early 1990’s the only two parties were:

Social Democratic Party (SDP) – Chief M.K.O Abiola as Presidential candidate

National Replican Convention (NRC) – Alhaji B. Torfa as Presidential candidate. That was the only period Nigeria practiced two-party system.

In 1999 the main parties in existence were:

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP)

Alliance for Democracy (AD)


During 2003 general elections in Nigeria more than 25 political parties were recognized by INEC to name but few:

PDP – Obasanjo (Presidential Candidate)


ANPP – Buhari (Presidential Candidate)

NAP – Tunji Braithwaite

PRP – Balarabe Musa

APGA – Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu

National Mass Movement of Nigeria – Gani Fawehinmi

United Nigeria Peoples Party – Jim Nwobodo

In 2007 general elections, INEC also recognized 50 parties some of them include;

Accord (A)



Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)


Labour Party (LP)


All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA)

United Nigeria Peoples Party (UNPP) etc

Some Registered Political Parties in 2015 general elections include;




All Progressive Congress (APC)


Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA)

AD etc

It is recalled that the presidential candidates of APC and PDP in 2015 general elections were General Buhari and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. From my book (Current Affairs & Historical Events Across the globe, 2012); the INEC Chairmen from 1960 to 2022 are recorded as follows:

–              Eyoesua 1960-1966

–              Michael Ani 1976-1979

–              Victor Ovie-Whiskey 1983

–              Eme Awa 1987-1989

–              Humphrey Nwosu 1989 -1993

–              Okun Uya 1993-1994

–              Dagogo Jack 1994-1998

–              Ephraim Akpata 1998-1999

–              Abel Guobadia 2000-2005

–              Maurice Iwu 2005-2010

–              Attahiru Jega 2010- June 2015

–              Amina Zakari July 2015 – Oct 2015 (1st women INEC Chairperson)

–              Mamood Yakubu Ocober 2015 to date

As Nigeria plan for 2023 general elections, INEC had registered many political parties.

Some of the registered parties with their Presidential candidates as at 2022 include;

Labour Party (LP) – Gregory Peter Obi

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – Atiku Abubakar

All Progressive Congress (APC) – Ahmed Tinubu

Livinus Nnebedum, Author & Public Affairs Analyst writes from Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze