The 2023 presidential election won’t happen for another eight months, but the ball’s already rolling. Parties have picked their presidential candidates and candidates have picked their running mates, even if some of them are placeholders. All those things are important, but the centrepiece that validates an electoral process is the voter: you.
There are currently two types of voters: those that have a difficult time picking their preferred presidential candidate and those that already daydream about the kind of life Nigerians will have when their preferred presidential candidate wins. If you’ve already decided, how can you turn that daydream into a reality by getting your candidate elected? Well, there are some helpful tips.
Adopt a catchy group name
A rapidly-emerging trend of Nigerian election years is group names for supporters of presidential candidates; this year hasn’t been an exception. Buharists had their time in the sun and the Atikulated and Kwankwasiyya have been around for some time. These days, there’s a rising wave of Obidients and a colony of the BATified.
Sure, it scores cool points online to have a rad group name to identify with, but that’s the least of the things you have to do to get your presidential candidate into office. So what do you do?
Donate to their campaign
Just like cocaine addiction, election campaigns cost money. The spending limit of a presidential campaign was recently raised from ₦1 billion to ₦5 billion. And unless your candidate is secretly a drug dealer or Ponzi scheme merchant, there’s no way they can shoulder that financial burden alone. They need all the extra ₦1k and ₦2k that you can afford to support their ministry. Keep in mind, though, that it’s against the law to donate more than ₦50 million — just in case your money grows like grass.
Advertise your support
More than cash donations, you can also provide material support to contribute to your favourite candidate’s success. It can be as basic as changing your social media display pictures, sharing campaign posts created by your candidate and attending their rallies and campaign events.
Propagate their message
There’s no better way to help your candidate’s ministry than to evangelise their selling points to everyone you can find: your neighbour, your seatmate inside the public bus, the people at your favourite salon and even the person that aired your WhatsApp message three years ago. Just like a movie you enjoy, your candidate can gain more appeal through the sheer power of word-of-mouth.
You don’t have to act alone in pushing your favourite candidate’s ministry. It’s almost impossible, even. You can always find political action groups online and offline and connect with them to push your candidate.
You can also volunteer to directly work for your candidate’s campaign in an official capacity. You can help the campaign to fundraise or engage in voter outreach, education and registration drive ahead of the election. Your candidate needs as many people as possible to reach out to every potential voter and secure their votes.
Have your PVC to vote, duh
The highest form of devotion to your candidate’s success is to vote for them at the polls. It’s hard to do that if you don’t have your permanent voters card (PVC). It helps that you changed your social media display picture for your candidate, but voting for them at the polls is what has the biggest impact on getting them across the finish line. That’s the only way your candidate’s journey can end in praise.