Congress for Progressive Change

The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) was a political party founded in Nigeria in 2009.[1]

Congress for Progressive Change
ChairmanTony Momoh
Secretary-GeneralBuba Galadima
Founded2009 (2009)[1]
Merged intoAll Progressives Congress
HeadquartersPlot 1132 Utako District, Abuja[2]
IdeologySocial liberalism
Social conservatism
Political positionCentre
ColoursPale blue

In February 2013, the party merged with the Action Congress of Nigeria, the All Nigeria Peoples Party, and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance to form the All Progressives Congress.[3]



The Congress for Progressive Change originated in The Buhari Organization (TBO) formed in 2006 by General Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler of Nigeria, and his associates.[4] The first National Chairman was Kano Central senator Rufai Hanga.[5] After the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) nominated Buhari as its 2007 presidential candidate, TBO worked with the ANPP in the election campaign, but there was friction between the two groups. Following the April 2007 elections in which President Umaru Yar'adua was elected, Buhari instituted a court appeal against the result. The ANPP decided to join Yar'Adua in his government of national unity, and attempted to persuade Buhari to withdraw the suit, indicating lack of full support for Buhari in the ANPP. Buhari decided that he needed a new platform to support his political ambitions.[4]

The Congress for Progressive Change filed an application to register with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on 26 March 2009, and received official approval and registration on 28 December 2009.[1] The majority of its initial members were formerly members of the All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP).[6] Buhari formally left the ANPP and joined the CPC in March 2010. He said that he had supported foundation of the CPC "as a solution to the debilitating, ethical and ideological conflicts in my former party the ANPP".[1] In January 2011, a former Information Minister, Prince Tony Momoh, became the National Chairman of the party. The National Secretary of the party was Engineer Buba Galadima, a founding member. Rufai Hanga, the former chairman and now an aspirant for governor of Kano State, was present at the meeting where Momoh was selected.[7]



The agenda of the CPC supported individual liberty, rights and social welfare for the less privileged. The party advocated political liberalism, as originated by the American philosopher, John Rawls. The party's manifesto insisted on the amendment of the Nigerian constitution with the view of devolving powers, duties and responsibilities to states and local governments in order to entrench federalism and the federal spirit.[8] The party constitution was silent on the issue of zoning, a common practice in Nigeria under which key positions are allocated in rotation to representatives from each region of the country.[7]

April 2011 elections


There were various problems with ballot papers in the April 2011 elections. The CPC found that just before the elections, its logo was missing from ballot papers in some constituencies of Ogun, Jigawa, Gombe, Anambra, Imo and Rivers states. Prince Tony Momoh protested in a strong letter to professor Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He described the omission as "a premeditated attempt to prevent our numerous supporters from voting for those they believe can bring the change they demand for their lives".[9]

Although the CPC had rapidly gained support in the North of Nigeria, fielding many candidates in the National elections in April 2011, it did not have the same financial resources as the incumbent People's Democratic Party (PDP).[4] Elections were held for most seats in the National Assembly Senate and House of Representatives on 9 April 2011, although some had to be delayed due to problems with ballot papers. In the first round of elections held on 9 April, the CPC came third in both Senate and House seats gained. In the Senate, the PDP won 53 seats, followed by the ACN (Action Congress of Nigeria) with 13 seats, CPC 6 seats, ANPP 4 seats and other parties took 4 seats. In the House, the PDP gained 123 seats, ACN 45, CPC 21, ANPP 11 and other parties 18 seats.[10]

Buhari ran as the CPC candidate in the presidential election held on 16 April 2011. He garnered 12,214,853 votes, coming second to the incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP, who polled 22,495,187 votes and was declared the winner.[11] The election, considered to have been conducted much more fairly than previous ones, revealed extreme polarization between North and South. Buhari won in all the core northern states comprising North East and North West apart from Adamawa State and Taraba State, while Jonathan won in all North Central states apart from Niger State and all southern states apart from Osun State, where Nuhu Ribadu gained the most votes. Turnout was considerably higher in the south than in the north, although the north had more voters.[12] Following the election, the CPC said it was considering going to court to challenge the result, which it said was marred by widespread irregularities, particularly in the South East and South South zones.[11]

Subsequent events


In an interview in November 2011, former Senator Rufai Hanga stated that he had not resigned as chairman to contest the Kano State governorship election. He said he was still chairman of the party, and had gone to court to get this recognized. In February 2012, Chief Dennis Aghanya, a leading member of the Hanga faction, said the CPC must resolve internal disputes. He also criticized the Momoh faction for constantly making confrontational statements after each political development in the country, saying "Society looks at us as a bunch of rascals".[13] In February 2012, Rufai Hanga served notice through the Federal High Court, Abuja on the CPC national secretariat to vacate their premises which they were renting from him. In March 2012, he said he was not proceeding with the action.[5] The CPC merged with several other parties into the All Progressives Congress in 2013.

Electoral history


Presidential Elections

Year Party candidate Running mate Votes % Result
2011 Muhammadu Buhari Tunde Bakare 12,214,853 31.97% Lost  N

House of Representatives and Senate elections

Election Party leader House of Representatives Senate
Votes % Seats +/– Position Votes % Seats +/– Position
2011 Tony Momoh 4,212,283 14.75%
38 / 360
  38   4th

See also



  1. ^ a b c d Emeka Mamah (18 March 2010). "Buhari Joins Congress for Progressive Change". Vanguard. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  2. ^ Ahuraka Yusuf Isah (17 March 2011). "Bauchi Guber - Court to Hear Case Against Cpc Candidate". Leadership. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  3. ^ Maram, Mazen (7 February 2013). "Nigerian Biggest Opposition Parties Agree to Merge". Bloomberg. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Taiwo Adisa (13 March 2011). "Buhari in the North Myth or reality?". Nigerian Tribune. Archived from the original on 16 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-22.
  5. ^ a b Abbas Jimoh (2 March 2012). "Why I stopped CPC eviction –Sen Hanga". Daily Trust. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  6. ^ "CPC: The meteoric rise of a phenomenon". Vanguard. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  7. ^ a b Tordue Salem (7 January 2011). "Tony Momoh emerges CPC National Chairman". Vanguard. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  8. ^ Oboro Andaolotu (19 March 2011). "Buhari CPC And Political Liberalism". Sahara Reporters. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  9. ^ OBIORA IFOH (3 April 2011). "CPC's logo missing in ballot paper: 'It's designed to rig us out'". National Mirror. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  10. ^ "Summary". Nigeria Elections Coalition. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  11. ^ a b Festus Owete (21 April 2011). "Congress for Progressive Change considers going to court". Next. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  12. ^ "Nigeria election: Riots over Goodluck Jonathan win". BBC News. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  13. ^ Onyebuchi Ezigbo (15 February 2012). "'Internal Wrangling Portrays CPC as Rascals'". ThisDay. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012.

Further reading

  • Ayoade, John A., and Adeoye A. Akinsanya, eds. Nigeria's Critical Election, 2011 (Lexington Books; 2012)