Being a politician in Nigeria, you are to rule your followers politically in government. Before one can become a politician, there are some requirements needed to have accomplished. Do you want to know how to become a politician in Nigeria? If yes, then please continue reading to find out the requirements and everything you may have to know one by one.
There are different types of political positions in Nigeria, we have house of assembly, how of representative, chairman, councilor, governor, senate, president, etc. If you are interested to become any of these political positions and searching for their requirements or special guides, then we are happy to let you know that here is the right page.
Requirements of age for being a politician
From 25 to 35 years of age.
In Nigeria, a person must be at least a minimum of 35 years of age to be elected as a President or Vice President, 35 to be a Senator, 30 to be a State Governor, and 25 to be a Representative in parliament or Member of the States’ House of Assembly.
With a minimum olevel certificate, you can opt in pursuing political careers in Nigeria. If you want to contest for higher political position like governor or senate, with degree or HND, you are good to go.
In the same way, if you want to contest for president, you must have to hold masters degree or equivalent. Above are just a few requirements to become a politician in Nigeria. Continue reading for more step by step guides!
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How to become a politician in Nigeria
If you want to become a politician in Nigeria, the step by step guides below are helpful. Please carefully read them.
1. Obtain a Degree
Before you start your career in politics, it is highly recommended that you first get a university degree. By having a degree, you can prove to voters that you have knowledge about current affairs and political structure. This will help make voters more inclined to vote for you.
On a deeper level, the lessons that you’ll learn in college may help you to understand certain political issues. Many areas of study, from political science to business, include material on topics that you will encounter during your political career.
Some degrees that are extremely useful for aspiring politicians include political science, business, theatre, law, history, math, statistics, philosophy, and economics.
2. Research the Requirements
Before starting a campaign, you’ll need to understand what requirements you need to meet in order to be eligible to hold a position in the office. This includes determining what documents are required in order to file for candidacy and if there are certain issues that disqualify you from holding office, such as having a criminal record.
These requirements vary depending on what office you are running for. For example, in order to be the President of the United States, you have to be a U.S. citizen who was born in the United States, a resident in the United States for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older.
3. Do Volunteering
Before starting your own campaign, it would be a good idea to get some political experience as well as develop a reputation. One very effective way to do this is by getting involved in an NGO. By doing so, you will be able to learn more about some of the issues affecting your community and lend a helping hand.
Volunteering will help you to build a reputation as a kind and trustworthy person in the eyes of voters. It will also help you to align your own platform with the things that people care about.
Finally, volunteering will give you the chance to meet like-minded people who may be of assistance to you in your career later on.
4. Affiliate yourself politically
In order to have any real chance of winning an election, you will need to join a political party. Many voters view candidates who are part of a political party as being more credible. There are also many voters who are loyal to a specific political party, and may not vote for you if you do not belong to that party.
Beyond this, joining a political party will also give you the opportunity to meet like-minded politicians. This will allow you to expand your network with more people who you can call upon for donations and endorsements when the time comes.
To become a politician in Nigeria, you have to affiliate yourself politically with other politicians who were in the field before you.
5. Campaign on someone else
This will give you another great opportunity to network with other political activists, as well as practice your skills. By doing the grunt work in someone else’s campaign, you will develop an understanding of all of the activities that go into running a political campaign. This will better prepare you for running your own campaign.
By doing the grunt work yourself, you will also be seen as more relatable to voters. This will help you to develop an appreciation for all the people who may one day work on your campaign.
6. Build your team
This is the stage when you’ll put together a team of people who will help you run your campaign. It is important that you choose people who are knowledgeable, skilled, and most importantly, trustworthy. Remember, it’s the people you choose to be a part of your team who will be the ones to provide you with advice when you need it.
Some of the roles that will need to be filled include a campaign manager, a communications manager, and a finance director, among others.
7. Fully get involved
Now that you are preparing to launch your campaign, you will need to make sure that you are up to date on your community’s issues.
In order to better understand the local political climate, you can attend town hall and community board meetings. These meetings will allow you to see what issues are currently affecting the members of your community. It will also give you a look into how local government operates.
Using your knowledge that you have gained so far, it is now time to decide which issue you would like to use as the main platform for your campaign. This should be an issue that you are passionate about, as well as something that is important to voters. Choose an issue carefully, as this issue will be the main driving force that pushes your campaign forward.
Once you have chosen an issue, you will need to get some public speaking experience. While having an effective campaign is important, voters will still want to vote for the person they like the most. Delivering good speeches with a calming demeanor and warm smile will help convince voters that you are the right candidate for the job. You can practice your public speaking at political gatherings or even chat casually with strangers.
Finally, you need to make sure that you have enough money to afford to run a campaign. There are a number of costs that you will have to consider, such as travel costs, paying your team, and advertisements.
Once you are sure that you can afford to run your campaign, it is also important to make sure that you have sufficient life savings. There are a lot of unexpected events that could happen in an election, from losing the campaign to incurring unexpected costs. Having enough money saved away can help you to recover from any problems you may encounter.
8. Work on your campaign
Before you are able to officially launch your campaign, you will need to develop a plan. Decide which issues you will be focusing on, and make sure to develop a stance on each one. Decide which voter segments you will be targeting. You will also need to decide how you will get the word out about your candidacy. This may require a detailed marketing plan.
You will also need to hire campaign staff. While you may have already chosen your advisors, you will need a dedicated team of people to carry out the grunt work of your campaign. Make sure that you hire the right people as campaigning can take a toll on your life.
Finally, you will need to find financial backers who can help you cover campaign expenses. From printing posters to paying staff members, there are a lot of expenses you will have to consider that you probably won’t be able to cover all on your own.
Make sure to network with affluent people. A lot of the political connections that you have made so far may come in handy for this reason. Reach out to wealthy friends, business associates, and fellow party members about making campaign donations.
9. Obtain a political franchise
You must be a member of the Nigerian electorate to become a politician. To achieve this, register as a legible voter.
Political registration in Nigeria is conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. At registration, your bio-data will be obtained and stored in the national electoral database.
You will be given a voter’s card. It is advisable that you register in your ward of origin. This is because the current electioneering system in Nigeria does not allow voting outside one’s voter registration unit.
10. Join a Political Party
Nigerian democracy allows political participation through political parties. There are many political parties in Nigeria, but only a few of them are popular.
Before signing up with a political party, you should consider the party’s constitution and manifesto. You should also be concerned about the reputation of the party members and leaders. Does such a party win elections? Does it have internal democracy? Will you thrive at the party?
11. Identify with your Ward
In Nigerian politics, the ward is the smallest unit of governance. You must identify your ward and get known in your ward.
Political parties also have ward leadership. You will have to be registered in a political party at the ward level. You also need to be actively involved in your ward politics.
The governing head of a political ward in Nigeria is the councilor. A councilor is a member of the local legislative council. The ward must not necessarily be your town of origin. Get involved in grass-roots politics.
12. Get a political mentor
In Nigerian politics, success is more about who you know than what you know. Godfatherism is the thing of the day.
A godfather, being more experienced in politics than you are in the best position to guide the direction of your political career. He recommends you to the political leaders and advises you on what steps to take.
In choosing a political godfather, be sure he is reputable and respectable. Beyond your chosen political mentor, respect other party and constituency leaders. You might need them in the course of your political career.
13. Volunteer for Party Activities
Political parties usually have one event or another. Most times political parties do not pay members to carry out these activities.
To move your career faster and hasten your political maturity, volunteer for these political events. This exposes you to and gets you acquainted with political protocols.
The leaders in your party see more of you through such moves. If you are recognized for always being involved, sooner than later, you will be given a big responsibility which will catapult you to a higher pedestal. You will always get positive recommendations.
14. Be Politically engaged
Do not be politically unaware and illiterate. Stay informed. Ask questions. Listen to the news. Read local and national newspapers. With this, others will always respect you whenever you stand up at meetings to make contributions.
You also get positively noted. Know however that you do not have to share every piece of information you have about your party. Learn when to flex your vocal muscles and when to shut up.
15. Get involved in community development
If you are nursing the dreams of occupying a political office on behalf of your constituency, you need to show your concern for their welfare, even before you get elected.
Network with landlords and residents. Show loyalty to pressure groups. Identify with tribal unions. Let your immediate constituency know you. Contribute to the development of your community. Draw government attention to the plight of your community.
16. Build a reputation
In your political career, you need as much goodwill as possible. This makes it mandatory for you to build a good reputation. Let your people know you for good. Be disciplined and responsible. Be known as the man or woman who gets things done.
Intending to become a politician in Nigeria, look for what your community lack and do it for them if you have a will. Let everybody knows that if you win an election, you will do great for them thereby making them vote for you.
17. Answers the question of people
Build your political career from humble beginnings. If you are not inheriting political loyalty from your father, you have to build yours.
No office is too small to be contested for. When you successfully run a lower political race, you get recognized.
As time goes on, you will become a force to reckon with. Do not just wake up without a political history to contest to a very high office like the senate. You might lose.
18. Develop your communication skill
A good Nigerian politician must be a good communicator. It is very important. Learn how to sell your ideas to your party and then to your constituency members. Be good at rhetoric and diplomacy.
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I hope we have helped you know how to become a politician in Nigeria including the requirements and what you have to do during your political campaign. Please share any question you may have with us through the comment section of this page.