5 Things to Consider Before going into Nigerian Politics
The rate at which individuals are getting involved in politics is getting alarming. Almost everyone wants to have a taste of the so-called “National cake”, which past leaders have also enjoyed. Nowadays, most people go into politics not because of a pressing need to serve their country or selflessly work towards the progress of their community and society at large, but because they have an ulterior motive, and they see being a politician a great way to become alleviated from poverty or as a get-rich-quick scheme.
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There is a popular notion of politics being a “dirty game”, and this notion or idea has been factually established by the political system that we have in Nigeria. Being a politician nowadays should be an idea or thought that one should rethink over and over again, before delving into it.
So, here are 5 things or factors an individual should consider before going into politics in Nigeria:
1. Choice of Political Party
The role of one’s political party in determining how far one can go or the apogee of one’s success cannot be overemphasized. Whether you are founding a new party or joining an existing political party, having a group or team where you can share your ideas and visions is very important. Having joined a political party or created one, there is a need to examine the party’s constitution and manifesto. In the present Nigeria, creating a political party is a really good idea but is not the best thing to do. It puts you at a disadvantage because the party’s popularity will determine how the mass will view you. So, the best idea is to join a popular political party. There are many political parties in Nigeria, but only a few of them are popular. There is also a pressing need to check the reputation of the part you have joined and the rate of its success in past elections. You need to consider how successful your party is at winning elections. You also need to check the way things are done in the political party you have chosen. Favoritism, nepotism and tribalism are cankerworms which have eaten deep into the fabrics of most political parties in Nigeria. You need to know if you will be able to succeed in the party you have chosen, or there will be people who will always want to antagonize whatever decision and opinion you make during party meetings.
2. Building a Good reputation
This is also a great factor you should consider when deciding to go into politics. Having a good reputation that precedes you is a great item to be added to your political CV. In your political career, there is a need to have as much goodwill as possible. The society and community which you belong to need to know you for being a good person, and this will give them the confidence to vouch for you when advertising for you or campaigning for others who do not really know much about you. You need to be disciplined in whatever you do. Your YES should be your YES and your NO should be NO. Let people know you for being a person that does not take nonsense but this does not mean you should be a strict disciplinarian, as being too strict may have its own consequence. You also need to be responsible and own up to your actions. Don’t just make rash decisions, you need to be a creative thinker as this would also determine how other party members assess you.
3. Be informed: News and recent happenings of our modern society travel around like the speed of light. An event that is happening currently in Ontario, Canada can be viewed by someone who is in a faraway land or country. There is a need to stay updated and informed if you want to build a successful political career as people who are unaware or not handy with up-to-date information are always regarded as being unserious. You need to start listening to the news if you have the ambitions of building a political career, read local newspapers and national ones also. Having vital information in hand will greatly help you whenever you are engaged in discussions with other political colleagues and party members. It would also help you to have ideas and opinions on ways that you think problems ravaging the country can be nipped in the bud.
4. Have an experienced political mentor: If you ask 50 politicians if they have a godfather, most of them might not be straightforward when answering but from the hints which they will give from their answer you can decipher that there is someone whom they give reverence to for guidance on steps to take and decisions to take. The same also applies to anyone who is bearing the thought of going into politics. In our present country, godfatherism has become a popular factor in gauging your success in politics. You need an experienced person who has been into politics for a long time to teach you the ropes and guide you in your chosen career. Choosing a respectful and responsible godfather is also another factor to consider. You also need to give reverence to the leaders of your party and those put in charge of your constituency, these people might also come in hand in the course of your political career.
5. Have good communication skills: Being a good Nigerian politician requires you to be excellent and skilled at communicating with others. A bad communicator won’t go far in politics as communication is a very great tool in sharing your ideas to the general population. You need to be able to devise means to pitch your tent and sell your vital ideas to your party and constituency. Being a good orator is one factor which most politicians usually fail to consider when building their political career and this usually stands as a stumbling block when they are eventually called on to deliver their opinions. You can develop your communication skills by learning to write speeches and granting interviews to firms who want to know your opinion on a particular topic.
There are also other factors one should consider when planning to plunge into the pool of politics, but the highlighted factors are quintessential and must be considered by anyone who wishes to build a political career.