Perhaps you are nursing the idea of contesting for a political position in Nigeria then read through this article to understand the basics for contesting for these public offices. Most of these positions have similar processes with minimal variation.
To contest for any political office it must be through the platform of any political party that is registered in Nigeria. You begin joining or registering a political party following these guidelines.
A political office holder is a person working in the public sector, whether in the Parliamentary, government or municipal institutions. An elected official or person appointed to work in the public administration can be a public office holder.
Ranking of elective political offices and positions in Nigeria
- President (1 Position)
- State Governors: (36 Positions)
- Senatorial District: (109 Positions)
- Federal Constituencies – Representatives (360 Positions)
- State Constituencies Representatives – State House Of Assembly (990 Positions)
- Local Government Constituencies (774 Positions ) Local Government Chairman Positions
- Wards Councillor (8810 Councillor positions)
A political election process in Nigeria is a way of choosing representatives through a free and fair election conducted the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) according to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
The eligibility to contest for any political offices in Nigeria is the same with just a few variations. The office of the president of Nigeria is a four (4) years term and is conducted nationally INEC and the basic requirements must be met before an election can take place. INEC organises, undertakes and supervises elections for various political offices in Nigeria.
Order of office in Nigeria – highest office to lowest office
The Speaker of the House of the representative is the fourth- highest office in Nigeria. The first highest office in Nigeria is the office of the president. The second-highest office is the office of the vice president
Requirement for contesting for political offices in Nigeria
To contest for public offices in Nigeria there are basic qualifications that contesting candidates are expected to meet before contesting for political positions.
Basic qualifications the political aspirants for political offices at the federal and state levels of government must be in line with the 1999 constitution chapter VI, part 1, section 131 and it is common to all elective offices in the Federal and State Government levels with a small variation.
The constitution states that a person is qualified for the election to the office if;
- CITIZENSHIP; The aspirant must be a citizen of the country birth.
- AGE; The age requirement is different from one political office to the other as follows:
- Office of the President and Vice president, the age requirement is 40 years and above.
- Office of the Governor and Deputy is 35 years and above
- Senate is 35 years and above
- House of Representative is 30 years and above
- The State House of Assembly is 30 years and above
- The Chairman of the Area Council is 30 years and above
- The Local Government Chairman/ Councillor of the area council is 25 years and above.
The basic education requirement to qualify as an aspirant for an electoral position in any political position is School Leaving Certificate or its equivalent.
The aspirant must be a member of a political party and be sponsored the political party before he or she can contest any election in Nigeria.
Furthermore, the candidate must be;
- Sound in mind
- Have no death sentence or imprisonment or fine for offences involving dishonesty or fraud.
- Must not be convicted within the period of 10 years for offences involving dishonesty or contravention of the code of conduct.
- He must have evidence of Tax payment for 3 years immediately preceding the year of election.
The above list is the ranking of all political and contestable position in Nigeria. The presidency is the highest ranked position while the councilor is the least political positions