If you want to learn how to register a political in Nigeria and how to manage a political party in Nigeria successfully, I will explain it comprehensively in this guide.
There are various procedures you and your associates will have to follow on:
- How to start a political party in Nigeria.
- How to register a political party in Nigeria.
- How to manage a political party in Nigeria
- How to fund a political party in Nigeria.
This subject is kinda exhaustive but I will explain the basic procedures you need to follow carefully in this guide so that you can make the most out of it.
Let’s get started by—–what is a political party?
A political party is a registered association of people who share similar ideology on how a country should be governed
A political party’s first aim is to get into power or to stay in it—Joseph Schumpeter, Austrian political economist.
How to Register a Political Party in Nigeria (According to the Nigerian Constitution Guidelines)
The Nigerian Constitution and the Independent National Electoral Commission has enumerated these criteria for registering a political party in Nigeria:
- Your party should have an Open membership for all Nigerians regardless of tribe,gender, religion etc.
- Party branding such as logo, slogan, flag must not have sectionalism tendency, duplication tendency etc.
- Accounts: Your Political party can’t receive foreign remittances without INEC’s middle-manship,INEC also have access to all the accounts books of the political, and can give disbursement to parties on the basis of equality for any purpose that will help them function better.
- Federal Character Representation: Your political party should reflect federal character.
- Your political party must be in Adherence to INEC directives which must be backed by the constitutional provisions.
You can read more on the Nigerian Constitution party registration specification.
What are the Requirements for Registering a Political Party in Nigeria? ( According to INEC Guidelines)
You must have a political association
This can be your club, friends, any body you discuss politics and share ideology with.
The registration fee is a non-refundable sum of #1M in bank draft.
Party Executives’ Contacts
The party chairman and secretary, state executives; must fill their names, signatures and residential addresses, and I will advise you that they should each have a means of identification e.g Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC), National Identity Card, International Passport or Driver’s License;any of these should do.
Draft Constitution and Manifesto Submission
INEC states that a political party has to submit 50 copies which must contain the “proposed” party’s branding I mentioned above. Your Code of Conducts, administrative/organizational structure etc should also feature in your party’s Constitution
Minutes of the first meeting
INEC, in a bid to secure the political system and promote internal democracy, wants to know when the branding was approved by the founding members.
Political party location and officers
Your HeadQuaters must be in the FCT, Abuja and must have officers in at least 24 states plus Abuja
Your members must be voluntary members and not by reason of being forced or transmitted from other political association or club or wing.You will have to swear an affidavit that the party members do not belong to another political party.
Guard against False Declaration and Deadline Elapse:
False declaration will result in nonregistration of the political association as a political party or withdrawal of the certificate of registration of the political party. Also, according to INEC 30 days is the deadline for submission of all criteria;so don’t start registration until you have all the things ready in this guide.
The “INEC guidelines on registration for new parties 2014” was signed by the former INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, is kinda voluminous,but don’t worry I wrote out the basics in summary and comprehensive format above.
Yes 2014! But it is still valid.
You can subscribe to my blog to get INEC’s guide (PDF) for download , should you want to see the full INEC guide yourself.
How to Register a Political Party in Nigeria: Smart Party Registration Tips (SPR)
To prevent political bigwigs and forces from frustrating the registration of your party maybe be because they think yur party is a threat to them……I don’t know……hereare some tips for smart registration which I call SPR (Smart Party Registration):
- Electing Party Leaders Later: You can choose to elect the main party leaders later basedbon internal agreement; the African Action Congress (AAC) used this in its party registration.
- Different Political Name: If you already have a positive political movement which is popular and under scrutiny by the people in power, it may be advisable not to register your party arm/political party with that same name so that they don’t frustrate it. I think that this could have contributed to why Afrobeat legend Fela Kati’s , Movement Of the People (MOP) wasn’t registered as a party in 1979, (the second republic and 1st return to democracy)
INEC Refuses to Register My Political Party, What Should I Do?
If you are sure you fulfilled all the requirements and you have queried INEC on this and they still refused to register your political party or suddenly and unconstitutionally ( I mean regarding the Nigerian Constitution), then you can seek redress in the federal high court by going with your legal team.
If they win and you are not convinced, try the federal high court of appeal as far as to the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
If it was ill-motivated or by mistake, I pray you win!
How to Organise a Political Party in Nigeria
Don’t be afraid! There are several ways you can organise a political party in Nigeria as long as it is inline with the criteria and guidelines of both the Constitution and INEC.
Some Departments a Political Party Should Have:
- Legal Department: To handle election petitions, legal representation, party constitution interpretation and review,etc.
- Treasury Department: To handle all donations, funding and fund raising in the party. Accountable in dividuals should be placed in this dept.
- ICT Department: To manage the party’s website and blog and also social handles.
- Secretariat Department: To handle the documents such as the party manifesto, literature and other important files of your political party.
I wouldn’t advise any party to have political god-fathers who “anoint” the flag bearers by himself—-this goes against democratic practices.
For me, endorsement is okay! But sidelining and choosing one candidate for ulterior reasons is not okay. If Nigeria’s President is to be selected that way, how will the people’s mandate be respected.
Democratic principles starts from whenyou are out of power, continues when you are in power and remains when you are, again,out of power—–VisionaryDemola
You can draw some inspiration fron Wiki’s more tips on how to create a political party.
How to Find Members for Your Political Party in Nigeria [ Smart Steps]
First, I will say that you don’t find members, find quality members, let members find you. A populous political party has a higher polling success-rate but if the membership do not share the party’s ideology it will be otherwise.
These are the steps to use to find members for your political party in Nigeria.
- Publish Your Party Manifesto: This is the document that clearly defines the aims of the party if it forms the government of Nigeria.
- Build a party website: This will enable Nigerians to look up your party’s manifesto, programmes and any other information you wish to share. It is a visual mouth-piece.
- Establish Your Party’s Social Handles: Many Nigerians are on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram; get your party’s socials ready and use it for your communication.
- Organise Rallies: During rallies, you will have the chance to reach out to more Nigerians through an open door setting.
- Sponsored Adverts: You can buy advert spaces in the most popular Nigerian newspapers. Yes! The advert policies of some newspapers allow for political advertising, though note that sponsored adverts doesn’t mean that they support or recommend you. State your manifesto in few points, party website and contacts, logo and slogan. My Tip- it can be as an invitation advert to stimulate engagement, attend the party local conferences etc. rather than just an information advert.
- Stand for Election: By standing for particular elections, if your manifesto appeals to the electorate (the voters) then many might join your political party. Here are some of the elections your party can work towards
Basically, these are the ways to find members for your new or old Nigerian political party.
I hope you are still with me, we are almost through ..
How to Fund a Political Party in Nigeria
INEC, as the regulatory commission in charge of party over-sight have some rules to monitor the cashflow of parties to prevent the electoral process of Nigeria’s democracy from becoming unbalanced.
However, with these outline, I think you can be safe from INEC’s financial discipline!
- Membership Dues: It may be a regular amount monthly or yearly. How will you emsure
- Sale of Party Products: This can be literature,magazines, t-shirts, caps and clothing items to stationery.
- Crowd Funding:
- Donations: From party supporters within and outside Nigeria.
How to Manage a Political Party in Nigeria
- Internal Cooperation: Based on the party’s constitution, encourage each members to play a unique role. Also, follow your constitution’s payout on resolving disputes. Parties can lose elections, membership and registration if there is internal crisis caused by wranglings, unresolved disagreements. Let each member do his/her best.
- Promotion: Keep promoting your political party on and off-campaign seasons so that you can find new members and so that new members can find you.
- Root solutions: Try as much as possible to settle things within the party before going to court, let this be part of the party constitution. Nevertheless, ensure that the committee to settle disagreements is neutral to the “parties” involved.
You can contact me if you want to consult me for your specific needs on how to register a political party in Nigeria and how to start a successful political party in Nigeria: political party website, political party branding, etc. I will do my best in advice to get your political party registered.
What other tips do you recommend on how to register a political party in Nigeria? Why?
Let me know your thoughts at the comments!