Do you want to become a successful Nigerian Politician? Here’s a step-by-step guide to achieving your goal;

Phase One: The groundwork.

Step 1: The first step is obvious: Get a godfather. Duh, who else is going to show you the ropes in exchange for the economic freedom of the people you end up governing?

Step 2: Get your godfather to put you in charge of some office or organization. How does that relate to my political ambition, you say? Don’t worry, your dreams of becoming a political overlord are valid, and all you have to do is trust the process.

Step 3: Get a snake to swallow a few hundred million dollars. You’ll need money to fund your campaign after all. You’re afraid of getting prosecuted? Fear not, you can say you’re ill and you have to travel abroad for treatment. If that fails and EFCC decides to arrest you, just jump out of the bus. If that fails and you do get arrested, get your godfather to acquire a presidential pardon for you. Problem solved.

Step 4: Chill abroad for a bit and focus on money laundering.

Step 5: While you’re abroad, make sure your social media pages aren’t silent. You should focus on becoming a friend of the people, and an advocate for the masses. Comment on any and everything. Has Nigeria started producing pencils? Condemn the leaders. Did someone’s girlfriend break up with him? Blame the government. If someone refuses to pay bride price, comment. You should become a Reno lite or better still, an Adamu Garba. Don’t forget to throw in beautiful pictures of “the abroad” with captions like “my dream for Nigeria”. Feel free to throw in a few creative remixes of Barack Obama’s “I have a dream” too. 

Step 6: Repeat Step 4.

Now that phase one is over, it’s time to move to Phase Two: Polishing Your Image.

Step 7: Reinvent yourself- Joseph Jamiu is a better name than Joseph Benjamin; you belong to everybody and you belong to nobody. Don’t forget to manufacture your new Igbo name too. Joseph Jamiu Chiwetalu “JJC”

Step 8: Take pictures with outfits of all three tribes. Great PR is always a plus. Remember, you belong to everybody, and you belong to nobody. 

Step 9: Refine your sob story. Nigerians love a good Grass to Grace story. Go all out and hire a scriptwriter to paint a vivid picture of how your mother was a madwoman and she used to give you gutter water as a child.

Step 10: Take pictures of yourself performing ridiculous tasks that you have no business with. You’re a man of the people after all. 

Step 11: I almost forgot to mention this very vital point. Get a (preferably Nigerian) tailor (so you can use it to chase clout on Instagram- hashtag “supporting Nigerian owned businesses”). Get this tailor to make you multiple white agbadas. Stick to this very specific choice of clothing; the agbada is to display your affluence and largesse, while the choice of colour is to put your ‘pure intentions’ on full display. Do NOT skip this step.

Phase 3: The real deal

Step 12: Put all your (stolen) nairas together. Winning an election is not cheap, my friend.

Step 13: Threaten, bribe and blackmail your colleagues in the party into choosing you as their consensus candidate for the elections.

Step 14: Start to campaign aggressively. Churn out thousands of merch with your face on it. After all, turning people into walking billboards is the best way to get the word out. “Vote JJC for president “.

Step 15: Make promises that you cannot keep, even if you try to. “You’ll make $1 equivalent to 1 naira in 3 weeks”

Step 16: Dig up dirt on your opponent. This agenda must agend at all costs.

Step 17: Put electoral malpractice plans in place, just in case.

Step 18: On the day of the election, wear a solemn look and let your wife cast her vote before you cast yours. Nigerians love a humble family man. 

Step 19: Congratulations on winning the election. If you didn’t win, try again in the next 4 years. If you won, it’s time to tearfully attribute your win to God. Repeat step 15 for an extra excitement boost.

Step 20: Once in office, reward your benefactors and start planning to repeat the process in the next 4 years. It’s also wise to make plans for your children to take over from you (who better to continue your “good works” than your flesh and blood?) Continuity and family legacy is key after all. Remember you’re a family man.

All the best, Chief!

Adedolapo Salami