Formed in February 2013, the party is the result of an alliance by Nigeria’s four biggest opposition parties – the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) – merged to take on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The resolution was signed by Tom Ikimi, who represented the ACN (Action Congress of Nigeria); Senator Annie Okonkwo on behalf of the APGA (All Progressives Grand Alliance); former governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, the Chairman of ANPP’s Merger Committee; and Garba Sadi, the Chairman of CPC’s (Congress for Progressive Change) Merger Committee.
The party received approval from the nation’s electoral umpire Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on July 31, 2013 to become a political party and subsequently withdrew the operating licenses of the three previous and merging parties (the ACN, CPC and ANPP). In March 2013, it was reported that two other associations – African Peoples Congress and All Patriotic Citizens – also applied for INEC registration, adopting APC as an acronym as well, reportedly “a development interpreted to be a move to thwart the successful coalition of the opposition parties, ahead of the 2015 general elections.”
On November 25, Five Governors in the existing ruling party announced their decision to join APC. The 5 governors are Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers); Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Rabiu Kwakwanso (Kano); Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); and Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara).
On December 18, 2013, Thirty-seven (37) out of the 208 PDP members in the House of Representatives also defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). The defection was contained in a letter read by the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, on the floor of the House bringing the total to 174.
On January 29, 2014, 11 senators from the People’s Democratic Party also defected to the APC. Among the senators that defected are Bukola Saraki, Mohammed Ndume, Danjuma Goje and Abdullahi Adamu. The senators communicated their decision to decamp to the APC in a letter addressed to the Senate President, David Mark.