let’s consider the steps you need to take to get started.
1. Identify your Ward: The ward is the smallest unit of Government in Politics. The Political Head of a Ward is called Councilor. Every politician must compulsorily be a card-carrying member of a political party at the ward level. This however is with the exception of those who choose to contest election as or support independent candidates. Your ward is not necessarily your home town but the locality where you will most conveniently carry out your political activities. It is also advisable that you also register with INEC as a voter in this ward.
2. Make the Choice of Political Party: Consider the available political parties in your area and make a choice. I advise you study the manifesto and constitution of the party you want to join and agree that you align with her. Unfortunately, in Nigeria’s nascent democracy, ideology is not well defined in the existing political parties, therefore, they almost share basic ideologies.
3. Get involved in Ward activities: The least you can do as a politician is to attend your ward meetings. Get deeply involved at this stage. Contribute at meetings and assist once in a while in footing party bills either in kind or cash. This not easy and takes time and plenty of efforts. Once in a while, sponsor refreshments at meetings or volunteer to transport some members to meetings or other activities.
4. Identify like-minded believers in the party to relate with: This is very important as decision are taken in politics based on majority of opinions. It is important that you align with your own class of people to ensure that decisions taken are not to the disadvantage of your interest.
5. Relate Well With The leaders: That you want to make changes in the politics of your environment does not mean castigating existing leaders. Celebrate them for the good they have done and be silent on their evils, at least for a start. Success in politics is about who you know and not necessarily what you know.
6. Volunteer to be part of Campaigns/Party Activities: Every political campaign and political activity needs hard workers. If you want to get an idea of how politics really work, walk into any campaign office of a candidate and offer to help out. You’ll likely be asked to do what appears to be menial work at first, things like helping to register new voters or making phone calls and/or test messages on behalf of a candidate. But if you do the job well, you’ll be given more responsibilities and more visible roles in the campaign.
7. Pay attention to Political Information: Unfortunately many are political illiterates. Before you get into politics, you ought to know what you’re talking about and be able to hold an intelligent and thoughtful conversations about the issues. Local politicians and indeed the community respect you when you have better information at hand. That alone makes you a point of reference in your locality. Therefore, read your local newspaper(s), statewide newspapers and national newspapers. Be alive on the social media for information.
8. Get involved in your Community: Attend Landlords/Residents meetings. Network with and be in good terms with local groups e.g The Vigilante, etc. Build coalitions dedicated to changing and improving your town such as the CDA or Tribal Unions. PTA meetings and Cooperative Societies are equally good places to be for upcoming politicians.
9. Build character and good name: A good name is better than silver and gold. As corrupt as our society is, a good name still speaks volume. Strive to build for yourself and generations after you a good name. In whatever capacity you are entrusted with responsibility, make a good opportunity to leave a lasting impression in the hearts of the people.
10. If you must contest, start small: There is no spirituality in insisting that certain offices are too small for you. Start from the grassroots and gradually work your way to the top. “All politics is local.”
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