6 Things You Need To Know If You Want To Run For Political Office In 2023

March 30, 2021

Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.

Elections have always been a big deal. But now, they are more important than ever. Many people may argue that the 2023 General Elections is still a few years away, but if Nigerians have learnt anything from the past elections, it’s that now might be the time to become more interested in these things and possibly run for a political office. 

But first, let’s begin with the basic information. There are requirements to be met by candidates into political offices in Nigeria, and these are backed by Chapter VI, Part 1, Section 131 of the 1999 Constitution. Let’s talk about some of them.

1. You must be a Nigerian citizen by birth

For obvious reasons, only Nigerian citizens are allowed to run for political office. Your country of birth doesn’t exactly matter as long as one of your parents is a Nigerian citizen. Alternatively, being born within the territory of Nigeria when neither of your parents is Nigerian does not automatically grant you Nigerian citizenship.

2. You must be of the minimum required age

Up until 2018, the minimum age requirement for any political post in Nigeria was 30 years old. Enter the ‘Not too young to run bill’, which was signed into law by President Buhari. The bill was sponsored and signed into law to reduce the age qualification for president from 40 years to 30 years; governor from 35 years to 30 years; senator from 35 years to 30 years; House of Representative from 30 years to 25 years and State House of Assembly from 30 years to 25 years.

3. You must have at least a school leaving certificate or its equivalent

According to the Nigerian constitution, your secondary school leaving certificate is enough to qualify you for a political office in the country. It is what it is. 

4. You must belong to a political party and be nominated by that party 

There is no provision for independent candidates to run for an office in Nigeria. Everyone who desires a post has to be registered to a recognised political party. We wrote an explainer about how to set up a political party in Nigeria. 

5. You must not be in prison or sentenced to death  for offences involving dishonesty or fraud

This one is pretty explanatory.

6. You must be of sound mind

The condition states that every candidate for a political office must be in control of their senses and are capable of making sound decisions. Hmm.


Two leading female organisations, African Women on Board (AWB) and AGS tribe have partnered to organise the WomenforWomen conference. The event will comprise of panel sessions ranging from empowering women through financial inclusion, to mobilizing resources for women’s political leadership, and a digital crowdfunding initiative to mobilise  $1m from women, for women running for elective office in 2023.

Find more details about the event below:

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