Elections in Nigeria is what I call a bloody ocean. Everyone is out for everyone. You have to be ready to do what it takes to really come out as a potential candidate in Nigeria((for any political seat).
Thankfully the not too young to run bill that was passed in 2018 has shown that a lot is changing in the Nigerian political space. Voters are more enlightened, and so is the process - seeming to be more transparent(so it seems).
So here is a 10 item list of how to win an election in Nigeria(Without rigging).
1. Be outspoken: Always have an opinion on everything and anything happening in the current politcal sphere. And voice that opinion.
2. Always Smile: Many of our politicians fail in this aspect. A smile is the easiest way to warm your way through the hearts of people who are just getting to know you.
3. Have a the finances in check: Except you have some strong backers who are willing to shoulder the financial implications of your ambition (which is the norm in most parts of the world), you should have the finances to cover campaign expenses. Also position yourself to ride on the good will of your people - eases the financial burden.
4. Start early/young: This cannot be overemphasized. To win an election doesn't happen just by merely waking up one morning and deciding... It is a process. Find a party(doesn't have to be the ruling party), and attach yourself to its processes. Learn the ropes and make new connections. Most Nigerian politicians already had their ambitions from when they were in tertiary institutions.
5. Be on social media: This is now a requisite (at least among the educated populace). Have a social media account and stay active. Voice your opinions and grow your following(happens over time)
7. Visit your hometown regularly: This is by far one of the most important steps to 'not-joke-with'. You have to connect with your people if you ever want to stand a chance at wining anything that involves elections ever. Let your people know you! This reduces a lot of friction should you come out to voice out your ambition to run for something. (You cant ignore this step if you are serious about vying for a seat in Nigeria)
8. Loose your pride: This is quite obvious, you don't expect anyone take you serious if you come across as been arrogant and pompous.
9. Do not make permanent enemies and friends: To win an election amounts to alot of variables coming into play, never make lifetime enemies in the sport of politics. It is unwise. Tables turn, things change.
10 . Read books/news/trends/and learn: Suprprisingly, over the years the average Nigerian voter wants more from candidates than ever before. They are enlightened, and are not afraid to show their pain points. The only way to connect to them is to understand their pressing needs. And learn how to communicate that you really understand their pain points. To acheive that means, you have to regularly be ontop of happenings. Pretense will only get you so far, and will hurt your reputation as you might be labelled as a fraud - loosing their trust.
Let me know if you have more to add to the above list...