Joining a political party is as simple as enrolling one’s child in school. We must stop calling or seeing politics as a dirty game. A political party is a group of people who share the same views about how the government should be run and what it should do.
If you are not involved in the activities of political parties, then you will be forced to choose between whatever disagreeable candidates they might present at the election. This is particularly true because our political system does not yet allow for independent candidacy.
Below are the guidelines on how you can join a political party in Nigeria.
1. Obtain a political franchise
Political registration in Nigeria is conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. At registration, your bio-data will be obtained and stored in the national electoral database.
You will be given a voter’s card. It is advisable that you register in your ward of origin. This is because the current electioneering system in Nigeria does not allow voting outside one’s voter registration unit.
2. Join a Political Party
Nigerian democracy allows political participation through political parties. There are many political parties in Nigeria, but only a few of them are popular.
Before signing up with a political party, you should consider the party’s constitution and manifesto. You should also be concerned about the reputation of the party members and leaders. Does such a party win an election? Does it have internal democracy? Will you thrive at the party?
3. Identify with your Ward
In Nigerian politics, the ward is the smallest unit of governance. You must identify your ward and get known in your ward.
Political parties also have ward leadership. You will have to be registered in a political party at the ward level. You also need to be actively involved in your ward politics.
4. Get a political mentor
In Nigerian politics, success is more about who you know than what you know. Godfatherism is the thing of the day.
A godfather, being more experienced in politics than you are in the best position to guide the direction of your political career. He recommends you to the political leaders and advises you on what steps to take.
In choosing a political godfather, be sure he is reputable and respectable. Beyond your chosen political mentor, respect other party and constituency leaders. You might need them in the course of your political career.
5. Volunteer for Party Activities
Political parties usually have one event or another. Most times political parties do not pay members to carry out these activities.
To move your career faster and hasten your political maturity, volunteer for these political events. This exposes you to and gets you acquainted with political protocols.
The leaders in your party see more of you through such moves. If you are recognized for always being involved, sooner than later, you will be given a big responsibility which will catapult you to a higher pedestal. You will always get positive recommendations.
6. Be Politically Informed
Do not be politically unaware and illiterate. Stay informed. Ask questions. Listen to the news. Read local and national newspapers. With this, others will always respect you whenever you stand up at meetings to make contributions.
You also get positively noted. Know however that you do not have to share every piece of information you have about your party. Learn when to flex your vocal muscles and when to shut up.