By: Ganiu Oloruntade
With about 14 months left for President Muhammadu and his plagued administration to pack and go out of Aso Rock, Nigerians are more than eager for real change. After 8 years of strife and turmoil under APC, what more can we ask for? Let’s even face it, the average voter doesn’t want to oscillate between a torn umbrella and a tattered broom at the next general polls, and as such, in dire need of a true messiah. That’s where you come in as a third force presidential candidate who will force the nation out of the APC-vs-PDP trap.
Follow me as I walk you through the dos and don’ts of your rodeo.
1. Declare for president
Your first assignment as a third force candidate is to announce your intention to run for the nation’s top seat, especially when the election is just a few months away. Listen carefully, it doesn’t matter whether the political party you would later adopt is barely known or lacks the political structures and grassroots penetration needed to win, just declare. Gather a few friends, associates, and well-wishers to make this happen. Don’t forget to flood social media with your flowery declaration speech and fancy pictures of you dressed as Nigeria’s Barrack Obama or Hilary Clinton.
2. Base your ambition on your ‘young’ age
At a time when the sọ̀rọ̀ s’oke generation is earnestly seeking to lead Nigeria, your entrance into the presidential race is sought-after and will no doubt shake up the political space. Unlike the frail-looking and sickness-prone older presidential hopefuls, you are young, well-educated, and speaks fluently. These, not your solutions to national problems or manifesto, are your selling points. Every speaking engagement or media appearance you get should be an opportunity to remind Nigerians that you deserve to be president because you’re in your 30s or 40s and basking in youthful energy.
3. Don’t listen to anyone
The greatest disservice you can do to your now-declared presidential ambition is to hearken to the voices of so-called social commentators and thought leaders. Some of them, in their bid to discourage you, will write think pieces advising you to run for governor or a National Assembly seat instead. They might even tag you a time waster. Ignore their calls, potatoes will potate. Changing Nigeria requires a top-to-bottom approach, you should reply them.
4. Shy away from the political realities
Politics in Nigeria is dirty, and you shouldn’t get your white kaftan — or blazers, as the case may be — dragged into the mud. So when these folks I’ve earlier warned you about bring to your notice the intense politicking, strategies and funding that come with running for Nigeria’s president, look away. If Emmanuel Macron could pull it off in France, what is stopping you? Even when they tell you that Macron was no stranger in the corridors of power and did the groundwork, don’t answer them.
5. Gaslight Nigerians into supporting you
Nigerians are a difficult bunch to help. Their coconut heads won’t allow them see you — the beaming light in the dark, dank alley of their many problems. You literally have to force them to reckon with you and your mission to rescue Nigeria. Write lengthy Twitter threads and op-eds where you drag these ungrateful elements for refusing to support you in your presidential bid, though you stand no chance at winning in the first place.
More importantly, should you eventually lose at the polls and place 12th in the INEC results like some haters must have predicted, still blame Nigerians for letting you down. Undeterred, you must prepare for another election cycle to try again. I am rooting for you!
Ganiu Oloruntade is a Nigerian freelance writer and journalist with interests in politics and economy. You can catch him on Twitter @GaniuOloruntade.