How To Contest For Public Offices And Political Positions in Nigeria 2022

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 by joining or registering a political party by 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.

Hierarchical List Of Contestable 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 by 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 by 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.

5 Steps On How To Join A Political Party In Nigeria 2022

  • Ensure you are at least 18 years or above. Those below the age of 18 are considered illegal to participate in politics
  • Choose the political party you intend to join. There are currently at least 20 registered political parties in Nigeria. Some parties are easier to join because they have nationwide coverage and are thus easily accessible while other others are only cluttered in certain regions
  • The next step to joining a political party in Nigeria is, after deciding on the party visit the party headquarters or the closest party ward. You can find the party nearest ward by surfing through the part website. They usually have there addresses and contacts
  • Next step, upon reaching the ward enquire about the secretary. The secretary will inform you of the cost and necessary documents you may need to go ahead with joining the party of your dream. You will also be presented with a form that you will need to fill.
  • After completing your documentation with the secretary your fill will be presented to the ward executives who will make the final decision and registration of the membership of the party.
  • You will be presented with a membership card. This automatically qualified you as member of the party.
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Registered Political Parties In Nigeria

S/No. Name of Political Party Acronym
1. All Blending Party ABP
2. All Grassroots Alliance AGA
3. Alliance for New Nigeria ANN
4. Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party ANRP
5. Coalition for Change C4C
6. Freedom and Justice Party FJP
7 Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria GDPN
8. Justice Must Prevail Party JMPP
9. Legacy Party of Nigeria LPN
10 Mass Action Joint Alliance MAJA
11. Modern Democratic Party MDP
12 National Interest Party NIP
13. National Rescue Mission NRM
14. New Progressive Movement NPM
15. Nigeria Democratic Congress Party NDCP
16. People’s Alliance for National Development and Liberty PANDEL
17. People’s Trust PT
18. Providence People’s Congress PPC
19. Re-Build Nigeria Party RBNP
20. Restoration Party of Nigeria RP
21. Sustainable National Party SNP
Source:inecnigeria.org

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 by 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 by 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.

Education

The basic education requirement to qualify as an aspirant for an electoral position in any political position is School Leaving Certificate or its equivalent.

Party

The aspirant must be a member of a political party and be sponsored by 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.
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Reasons / Factors That Disqualifies A Citizen From Contesting Elections

According to section 137 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria, a person will be disqualified to be elected as a political aspirant if he does not meet the above-stated qualifications and is found wanting of the following:

  • He has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or has declared allegiance to such other party.
  • Has been elected to the office of the President or Governor at any 2 previous elections.
  • Under the law in any part of Nigeria, he has been adjudged to be a lunatic or declared to be of unsound mind.
  • Within a period of fewer than 10 years before the date of the election to the office, has been convicted or sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty.
  • Found guilty of contravention of the code of conduct.
  • Has an undischarged bankruptcy under any law in force in Nigeria or any other country.
  • Being a person employed in the civil or public service of the federal or state and does not resign, withdraw or retire from the employment at least 30 days before the date of the election.
  • Member of any secret society.
  • Has been indicted for embezzlement or fraud by a judicial commission of inquiry and has been accepted by the federal or state government.
  • Has presented a false certificate to the INEC and has been found guilty of an offence involving narcotic drugs or any other psychotropic substance by any court or tribunal in Nigeria or any other country.

How Political Parties Nominate And Select Candidates

There are two basic ways political parties select the candidates that will contest elections using their party platform, these are

  • Party Primaries
  • General Consensus

In the primaries, the party members vote in for the candidates they want to represent in the general election. Those that contest these primaries must have been nominated by other party members. An individual may decide to purchase to contest for any desired position by purchasing the necessary form.

In the cases of general consensus, there is no need for primaries instead the party members unanimously agreed to present a candidate to represent them for a specific position.

A political campaign seeks to influence the decision making progress within a specific group and the message of the campaign contains the ideas that the candidate wants to share with the voters. The party and the candidate engage in these exercises as a way of projecting the candidates to the electorate in other to have win them over supporters.

After meeting the requirements, nominations by the party then the main political campaign starts.

The main political campaign tool for winning an election is communication. Communicating the value, benefits, solutions to the economic and masses challenges, telling the voters how you want to solve their problems, what you stand for and why you are the best candidate for the position you are campaigning for etc.

However, the masses have to be aware of the candidate to vote for, its pedigree, what he can do for them if elected and then any other thing will follow. In contesting for any political positions in Nigeria, aspirants go ahead to erect Billboards, posters, flyers, banners, newspapers, television and radio broadcasts as well as moving around to different locations to create awareness and seek the masses’ support.

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