How to Start a Political Career, Join Politics In Nigeria, Steps To Becoming A Great Politician
Politics is an important career that can be used to make a difference in any possible way. In Nigeria, politics is considered to be the most lucrative career and an easy way to make a fortune. It has been abused and bastardized with people using it to achieve so many different ambitions that are far from what it was intended for,but just because some people have misused it doesn’t mean it is a bad thing. Therefore anyone hoping to join politics is hoping for a good thing if only they will use it for a good cause. We will help you by giving you a step by step guide and advice on how to become a politician and a good one in this article so that you can start making plans early before you go into it.
Below are the steps to take to become a good, successful and impactful politician in Nigeria.
It is important for a politician to be educated in order to excel in politics. Even though Nigeria’s educational requirements for becoming a politician is not so much, it is good for you to go an extra mile and obtain a degree at least. This is because the constitutional requirements for politicians were drafted at a time when most people had primary school certificate as their highest qualification so only few even had secondary school qualification. Things have changed drastically because international politics demands that you keep up with certain trends which an uneducated person cannot bear so to be outstanding, get as much education as you can preferably in the social sciences such as Sociology, Political Science etc. This is a must have if you want to excel in politics and not just be a local champion in your community.
Be in tune with current political trends
In order to be a voice in politics, you must know the things going on in politics. This will include the past and the present and the only way to do that is to be up to date with the happenings. In fact this is the first test you have to pass to become a good politician. If you are not interested in political trends then maybe you are not cut out for this one. It is only in Nigeria that someone just appears out of nowhere with no knowledge of politics whatsoever to contest for a political office. Politics to such people is just an opportunity to loot and make quick money but a good politician must be interested in what goes on in his country and the world at large. Watch TV, read newspapers, use the internet as well to see the latest happenings around the world so that you equip yourself with information that you can bring up any day. This will enable you to speak and argue with facts not blindly like most people do in Nigeria.
Be a people person
Politics is serious business and must be taken as such. If you want to be a successful politician, you need to get your face out there. You can’t just jump out of the bushes to run for an office and expect a miracle. I have seen contestants whose family names are not known even in their villages. They have lived in Europe all their lives and then appear with posters for gubernatorial, senatorial seats and the rest. How do you expect to excel like that? I am not against people coming from Europe to contest but when you come back, pay your dues before you ever contest for any political office otherwise it may take you decades to ever become anything if you do become at all. Be involved in community service genuinely from the start let people know you as someone who has their interest at heart. Don’t just come and start roasting corn with women on the street few months to elections. That used to work but Nigerians are becoming smarter and they can easily see through thatso in order to excel, you must start by blending with people and doing what everyone else does so that they can bond with you. Volunteer to do things that are for the good of the community and play roles where your skills are required in the. That way the people will get to see you as a friend and then it will be easier for them to support you when the time comes.
Relate with community leaders
As much as you need to relate with people, you also need to build a strong relationship with the community leaders, village heads, district heads and heads of women or youth groups. These leaders have a strong influence on their followers and your relationship with them will afford you the opportunity to use their influence to get supporters. Most times the people themselves don’t really matter as much as the leaders who have many loyal followers. Whatever they tell them is what they will do especially in the North so leverage these relationships and you will be on your way to being a successful politician.
Register with a political party
You cannot become a politician without membership of a political party. Register with and become a bonafide member of a political party. You should run for positions within the party leadership if possible just to get known. Allow time for the party members to get to know you well so that you will have their support when you want to run for an office.
Have a mentor
Politics like any other discipline requires mentorship to excel. As a matter of fact, you need more mentorship to be a great politician than any other career. Go to people who are political icons and request for them to mentor you and help you realize your ambition. Most top politicians will mentor and even fund your campaigns in return for loyalty. The problem with this is you may not be free to do what you please when you do get into politics rather you will do what pleases your mentor. Whichever way, you still need a mentor so look for an influential person who can guide you through the entire journey or you will not go far. Your mentor will guide you on everything you need to excel such as how to go about your campaign, raise funds and the rest so a mentor is indispensable.
Now that you have a strong relationship with your community members and leaders, and you have a great mentor, it is time to break out. Start by running for smaller offices like councillorship at the grassroots. At this stage you should have the full support of your community to run for the office if you have been playing your games well. As you go about your usual activities like community outreach or rendering community service, make known your intention to run for the office and I assure you your group will support you. Some of them will take it upon themselves to make sure you win in the election because they know you to be a good person. Next, you should talk to your community leaders (who you have been in touch with regularly) about it. They also will support you and instruct their followers to support you and you are good to go. You don’t have to spend so much money on campaigns if you start out like this, rather the community will even help to fund your campaigns.
Do something your community will remember
One of the challenges politicians face is that they get into offices and do nothing for the people then return after four years to ask for votes again and use money to deceive people. Well, that strategy used to work but obviously the scales are falling off the eyes of Nigerians and they can clearly see now so it will not work in the near future. If you get elected into an office, do something for your community that you have been with all your life. The things you know they need, provide those things. Nigerians don’t have a problem with voting one person in again and again. In fact there is a lawmaker from my constituency that has been given a permanent seat in the National Assembly and there is a former lawmaker from the same constituency who occupied the same office that may never become anything in the community again in his lifetime. What is the difference? One delivers while the other blew his chance by forgetting his electorates! If you don’t want your career to end at the councillorship level then work for your people. You wouldn’t need a lot of noise making to win the next time you want to contest for a bigger office.
Now that you have this information, try to work with it and you will do well. And when you do get into politics, try to do the right thing not join the league of bad leaders we already have. Good luck with your political career.