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Political Inclusion: How to Join a Party in Nigeria

March 4, 2021 | Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
Written by Tolu Okunade

As Nigeria prepares to go to the next polls in 2023, the political atmosphere is getting more and tenser. All eyes would be fixed on these Elections because the young have seemingly fallen out with the old order and are clamouring for a new political party. Hence, the elections would be a litmus test to see if we are really tired and are ready to birth a new political order. 

One of the first steps, however, would be to join a political party. As part of our responsibility to building a nation we all would be proud of, we at The Nigeria Journal would be sharing articles on how to become more politically inclusive and joining a political party would be the first step to that journey. 

Reasons why you should join a Political Party 

  1. According to the 1999 Constitution, you can only be elected into a political office if you are a member of a party. This point is reinforced by INEC in a recent public notice.
  2. Even if you don’t ever want to run for office, if you are passionate about politics, you should want a seat at the table when decisions are made about who gets to run for office. These decisions are generally made during party primary elections and only party members can vote in such primaries.
  3. Under our political system, the government is formed by the party that wins the election, whether at the local, state, or national level. While this is not a hard and fast rule, it is easier to become a federal, state, or local government appointee if you are a member of the party in power.
  4. If you believe that the country is moving in the wrong direction, the first place to begin to change this is through the political parties, which in theory formulate the ideology, policies, and programs that their members will execute if and when they get into power. If you are as intelligent, exposed, and experienced as you believe you are, then you should be able to make your voice heard within the party system.
  5. Parties are run with a relatively high level of secrecy. You will always be an outsider if you don’t join a political party. Of course, not everyone is built to be a member of a disciplined and hierarchical organization like a party. But when you’re young, politically aware, and passionate about your country, there’s no better place to make your presence felt.

Admission into Membership of any Political Party in Nigeria

Procedures in Joining a Political Party

Interested individuals are advised to visit the respective party headquarters at their Wards and seek the attention of the Ward Secretary (Each Local Government Area is subdivided into Wards for political purposes). The individual will fill a party registration form and provide supporting documents and payment as may be required by the party.

Once registration is judged to be complete, a membership card will be processed and issued to the individual as confirmation. Then, the individual is referred to as a ‘card-carrying member’. Political parties typically hold weekly Ward meetings which members are expected to attend. A simple process, yet, requiring increased awareness and widespread documentation.

The least expectation is that each political party manages a functional website, publishing therein its national structure – a breakdown of Zone’s, States, Local Government Areas, and Wards with contact details for party officials at each level. An individual who seeks to join a political party should be able to pick an internet-enabled mobile phone, browse the website for the party of interest, navigate the national structure down to the Ward closest to him/her, copy details of the responsible party official, make an inquiry call and/or physical visit.

Information should be at the public’s beck and call. So, while the PDP site provides initial information on how to join, it needs to incorporate information and contact details down to the Ward level. It currently lists PDP State Chairmen with few of their contact numbers but excludes details on LGA and Ward officials.

Moreover, each political party should fully explore and execute the option of online registration for prospective party members in enhancing our growing democracy, information on political processes and requirements for partial or total involvement must become readily available to the average citizen. The ease and speed of accessing reliable information are key success factors for increasing and improving political involvement, especially for Nigerian youth.

Joining a political party is as simple. just look for a party that ideology or programs suits yours, then ask around in your neighbourhood when and what time such party meets the need to start 4rm your zone, then you will graduate to ward, then local government, then state. That is the procedure on how you can join any political party in Nigeria.

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