How To Become A Nigerian Governor: Step By Step Guide To Join A Political Party, Register With INEC & Start Your Campaign
Many people aspire to become many things in the political line. Some have been able to achieve their dreams while others have not. One of the things that are responsible for failure in political ambition is ignorance of rules or requirements for what they intend to do. Some get disqualified at the point of registration because they didn’t meet the requirements while others don’t even know how to go about the process so they get in trouble. The office of state governor is a very important and influential one in Nigeria so many people, both the qualified and unqualified run for it.
In this article, we will discuss the requirements and steps in becoming a state governor in Nigeria to guide you to achieve your dreams.
List Of Qualifications, Requirements For Becoming A Governor In Nigeria
There are constitutional requirements clearly spelt out for those intending to run for governor of a state under section 31 of the Electoral Act of 2006.
These requirements are:
- The person must be born in Nigeria. There are many ways of becoming a citizen of Nigeria but only citizens by birth are qualified to run for this office.
- The candidate must be 35 years or older.
- The gubernatorial candidate must be an active member of a political party which is expected to sponsor him
- He must not hold citizenship of another country or have any relationship with it other than what the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria stipulates.
- He must not have been governor for two tenure because one cannot be governor three times.
- He must be of sound mind in every respect
- He must not have been sentenced to death or imprisonment by any Nigerian court of law or tribunal for fraudulent or dishonest behavior.
- Has not been declared bankrupt
- Must not be working in any public office at least 30 days before the elections
- He must not be the member of any secret society.
Steps To Becoming A State Governor In Nigeria
Now that you have known the requirements for becoming a governor, let’s go into details of the steps you need to take to actually become one.
The following are steps you need to take:
Register With A Political Party
As stated in the constitution, you need to be registered with a political party that will present you to the Independent Electoral Commission. This will cost you a fee which varies depending on the party. You are expected to register in your ward or local community or where you live or work. The requirements for joining a political party are not too many or difficult. You just need to be a Nigerian at least 18 years of age, pay the required fees and dues and then agree to abide by the rules of the party.
The party leadership will review your application and either approve or reject it. In case of the former, a membership card carrying your passport photograph and signed by the National Chairman and Secretary of the party will be sent to you as evidence of your party membership.
Register With INEC As A Gubernatorial Contestant / Candidate
Once you have membership of a political party, you are now set to register as a contestant.
Pick the form for gubernatorial contestants, fill and submit it providing all required details. Of course your party will nominate you for this and of course you will be required to pay registration fees. See sample Nomination Form for governorship candidates to have an understanding of requirements for registering with INEC as a governorship aspirant. Once your registration is completed then you are already half way there.
Get Your Campaign Team, Organisation Together
After you have registered with INEC as an aspirant, get a campaign team. This is made up of a campaign manager and other executives who will help to organize your campaign and make it a success. Get members for your campaign group in every local government area, every district and every ward. The people you appoint at the state level should be able to organize this so you don’t need to worry about coordinating everything. You should follow up to make sure everything is in place because these are the people that will mobilise voters for you at the local level and without them, you may have no votes at all.
Meet With Political Icons, Influential Politicians Who Can Support You
Politics is a game of loyalty no one can deny that. There are major players in politics wherever you are coming from. You should meet them and declare your intention officially. They may have heard of what you are doing but they expect you to present yourself to them officially so do that. The advantage is that they can help you to mobilise or with finances to do your campaign. Just their blessings is even enough as elders so do not overlook this. They are also more experienced than you in the game so they may give you advice on things you wouldn’t know otherwise. Leverage this and you will have an advantage over your competitors at least from your locality.
Start Your Campaign
After you have registered with INEC as an aspirant and met with key players, the next thing is to start your campaign. This is a very important stage because it is your chance to let people know about your intention officially and to convince them to vote for you. This requires a lot of money to cover logistics and other costs. You should cover as much ground as you can.
For a governorship aspirant, you should travel the whole state. Your rally should cover every local government area in the state because if you go to some local governments and not others, the voters there may think you don’t consider them important so make sure you leave no stone unturned.
During your visits you should meet with community leaders, village heads and group leaders. If you get their backing then most of their followers will vote for you on Election Day. Meeting with leaders and elders is a very important step so do not miss it. Do not make any promise you are not sure of fulfilling. Most politicians promise a lot of things out of desperation during campaigns but don’t fulfill them. Don’t fall into the same trap of making unrealistic campaign promises. Make realistic promises so you will not be stranded in the future. Remember you will come back to the same people if you want to contest again and most people are now enlightened. It’s not like before that you can use gifts and money to buy people’s opinions and get them to vote for you when you didn’t achieve anything during your first term.
The above are the key things you need to do to succeed in your ambition of becoming a state governor in Nigeria.
I have to say there are many variables so no single article can cover everything although this is an excellent guide. You will need to play many things by ear and wisdom is required.
I hope this information gives you the foundation you need to build on and become the governor you have always wanted to become.
Thanks for reading and good luck with your plans.
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