Nigerian Politics: A Note To New, Young Entrants

I am in total support of new breed politicians. I admire the courage of those who put themselves forward for the task. The truth is that, we cannot change our nation without challenging the status quo. We cannot enforce the desired change while sitting on the fence bickering. We must engage. We have to participate in the game. This is a journey, often times, of a life time, and I commend those who make the decision.

From the early days of the declaration of your intention to run for political office, I will however, like to present a humble challenge. A demand for you to do things differently; to present to your constituents how you plan to make life bearable and how you intend to achieve those lofty ideas – in fine details. I believe that a well defined program will naturally attract supporters, give life to your ambition and reduce the frustration on the path to achieving political goals. Governance is not an easy task especially in Nigeria. You must remain tough and committed to your motives – to contribute to positive change in your community.

As a nation, we have deep rooted problems. In your journey, please ensure you continually embrace democratic values, stay connected to your constituency, eschew corruption, embrace peaceful resolution of conflicts and accord respect to all.

Remember, there are many gladiators on the corridors of power. Be aware of them. Many are not interested in empowering the younger generation. Be humble as you stand your ground. Be confident but not cocky or arrogant. Surround yourself with trustworthy, reliable and positive minded people. Empower yourself with good books. You have a lot to learn from them. I have listed a few below along with personal comments.

1. Who will love my country by Ike Ekweremadu (*Senator Ike offers actionable opinions for transforming Nigeria to a country we will all be proud of)

2. Making Africa Work by Greg Mills, Olusegun Obasanjo, Jeffrey Herbst and Dickie Davis (*This is another practical handbook to help politicians focus on the main goals towards transforming society: job creation and economic growth)

3. Tenants of the House by Wale Okediran. (*Though a fictional depiction of politics amongst members of the Federal House of Assembly, it remains a good book to familiarize yourself with the demands of lawmaking at Abuja)

4. Art of War by Sun Tzu

5. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

(*4 & 5 – Politics is a game. Get these books to understand the rules of the board)

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