Steps To Becoming Nigeria’s Next President: Requirements, Age Limit & Qualifications To Contest For Contesting For Presidency In Nigeria
The office of president is the most important and powerful in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is said that the president of Nigeria has more power vested in him than the presidents of most other countries. This makes the office a very attractive one and although many contest for it, only one person finally emerges president in the entire country. The office is also obviously the most competitive in the country so in order to win elections and become the president, one needs to be well prepared with the knowledge of how to win.
This article will give you a step by step guide on how to become the president of Nigeria in the near future.
Firstly, we will talk about the requirements for contesting for the office and then we will talk about the steps to be taken to win in the elections.
Requirements & Qualifications for contesting As Nigeria’s President
To become Nigeria’s president, it is obvious that one has to be a born citizen of the country. The law also says that such a person must not be a citizen of a second country, obviously so that he will not have divided allegiance so you need to meet this requirement to be qualified for the office of president in the country.
The minimum age for becoming president is 35 years. It used to be 40 years but it was reviewed downward by the senate so if you are up to 30 years of age then you are qualified in terms of age to contest for the office.
Although less than you may expect, all it takes to be qualified for the post of president in Nigeria is a secondary school certificate. This makes it much easier for many people to contest unlike countries like the United States. The certificate must not be forged or you will be disqualified.
As powerful as the office of president is, you need to be nominated by a registered political party that you are a member of to be able to contest for the office.
To qualify to run for the office of president, you must disengage from working in the public service. This should be done at least thirty days before the day of national elections. It means if you are not employed in the public service then you are good to go.
No country wants to be ruled by a president that is not of sound mind so you must be mentally and emotionally sound according to the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria so you must be of sound health at the time you wish to contest.
The president of Nigeria must not have any history of criminal conviction for activities involving dishonesty or fraudulent behavior.
A presidential aspirant should not be under a current declaration of bankruptcy by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Anyone contesting for the office of president must not be the member of any secret society in Nigeria or abroad.
Now that we have considered the requirements/conditions for running for the office of the president of Nigeria, let us look at the steps to getting to the office.
The following are critical steps to becoming successful running for Presidency In Nigeria.
- Get party membership: The law clearly states that no candidate can be considered for the office of president without membership of a registered political party. You need to register with and get membership of one of the registered 65 political parties in the countries. You only need to go to your ward of origin, where you stay or work but the registration must be done at the ward level. You only need your passport photograph, and pay registration fees depending on the party you want to register with. The local party committee will then decide to accept you or reject you. If you are accepted, a membership card will be sent to you from the National headquarters of the party. This will be signed by the chairman and secretary of the party as evidence of your membership.
- Get sponsored to register as a contestant: After you become a member of whichever party you choose, it is time to declare your intentions to the party leaders so that they will nominate you for the office. Remember many more people are interested in the office even within your party so the earlier you indicate interest the better. The party has its own requirements which you must meet before they agree to nominate you for the position so make sure you find out every information you need.
- Form a campaign organization: To succeed as a presidential aspirant, you need to have a strong team that will run your campaigns. The team should be structured such that they cover every state and local government in the country because heavy is the head that wears the crown. There should be agents even at the ward level to make sure everything is well planned at every level. No stone should be left unturned if you want to be successful. This team should have executives such as chairman, secretary, financial secretary and treasurer to ensure proper account of activities are given.
- Initiate a campaign: Once you have your campaign organization in place, it is time to embark on a campaign. This is an absolute necessity and a critical determinant of your victory at the polls so ensure you use it well. A typical presidential campaign should cover the entire country which means you need to travel to all states of the federation. Your party should be able to work on this in every state in conjunction with your campaign team in the state if you emerge as the party’s flag bearer. While on your visit to the different states, meet with traditional rulers at least at the state level. Also meet religious and other leaders of influence in the state and officially inform them of your intention and ask for their support. They will tell their followers to vote for you if you treat them well. Key politicians in every state should also be contacted because they have great influence that you can use to get voters on your side.
- Follow up: As you establish your campaign team and embark on campaign rallies, do not relent after visiting all the people you need to visit. There should be follow up visits especially to leaders in the society other influential people. You may not be able to visit in person but make sure your campaign leaders do the visit to maintain the relationship and keep your memory fresh in their hearts. There is so much competition for this office and only one person will emerge winner so put in your best to make sure your beat the competition. Also check to make sure things are going right at the local community level with your campaign people stationed in all of those localities. If this is properly done then your campaign should work until the day of elections. Your campaign team should also follow up the elections to make sure everything is done right. They can still mobilise honestly on the day of elections not with money or coercion but by making them see why they should vote for you. The votes should be counted and everything properly done on the day of elections to ensure no malpractice is done.
With these steps in place, you should be able to find your way to the presidency.
I wish you the best in you preparations and I hope this article will bring you to the office by 2019. Thank you.