7 ways to become a senator in Nigeria
If you want to become a senator in Nigeria, here's your 7-step starter pack.
This week,transcripts of an interview starringSenator Shehu Sani (who represents Kaduna Central in the upper legislative chamber) found its way into cyberspace.
In that interview, Sani said a Nigerian Senator is handed N13.5million monthly as running cost—whatever that means.
This 'running cost' is of course separate from their basic salary and constituency allowances (N200million for each senator).
Sani justified the jumbo pay by saying Senators have to take care of the needs of so many people in a poor society.
“We live in an underdeveloped society with a lot of poverty, misery and wants. What people want is for you to address those basic fundamental issues that affect their lives”, he said.
“If we can be done with that, it would be okay. Now, you are talking of bogus salaries and bogus allowances – there are three steps you need to consider – the first has to do with the fact when you represent the people, expectations arise from your immediate and the larger constituencies”.
This article is not about whether the amount of money given to 109 senators and 360 House of Reps members is outrageous. Nah, there are several other articles to help you with that sorta thing. This is not a day to be angry.
This is about helping you become a senator in Nigeria so you can look forward to your own big pay day. It's called national cake for a reason--everyone should have a fair share when it's their turn.
This piece is about starting you on your journey to becoming a Nigerian lawmaker or senator. You are welcome.
1. Ride on Okada before election
During electioneering season, ditch your sleek cars for commercial bike rides (Okada). This works five stars. Ask Senator Ben Bruce who represents Bayelsa East in the senate.
Hopping on Okada makes your constituents actually believe that you are one of them. And while at it, don’t forget to take pictures of you on Okadas and have them splashed across all your social media pages.
Don’t forget to eat Amala, Ponmo, Boli and roast maize on the streets while at it.
2. Join an establishment political party
You won’t become a Nigerian senator by joining a mushroom political party, trust me. At the moment, you can only become a Nigerian senator by joining the APC or PDP. You can also consider joining forces with APGA if you reside in the Southeast.
If you think you are going to be a lawmaker from KOWA or ANN, you really are on a long thing.
3. Be very active on social media
Yeah, you have to start tweeting and facebooking a lot in readiness for campaign season. Call your tweets fancy names like 'commonsense' or 'nuggets'.
Have a Facebook fan page with your picture splashed across the whole place. Something like “Friends of Ogidigbodigbo” or “Ogidigbodigbo fans page” would be a decent place to start.
Also, you must begin to have an opinion on every subject matter in the country—from Evans the kidnapper to the cost of imported rice.
When you become senator, you will need to keep tweeting and facebooking even though you would remain mute during plenary.
When you become senator, Twitter and Facebook would be your avenues to proffer ideas and solutions because you would be silent when with your colleagues at the national assembly.
Twitter will become your national assembly chamber.
4. Perfect your dancing and singing skills
If your dancing skills are as rusty as mine, you need to enrol for dancing classes. Seriously.
There are days when you’ll need to dance or sing during plenary just to rub it in the faces of your political detractors or haters.
And when you do win the election, you may need a break-dance or two to write yourself into urban folklore or virality.
Ask Senators Dino Melaye and Ademola Adeleke
5. You don’t have to be smart to become a senator
Nah, not at all. In fact, the dumber you are, the better your chances of emerging senator. A third class from Uni? Perfect. A pass degree? Fantastic.
All through plenary, you'd need to say the darndest things to make your legislative days memorable
Besides, if you are a first class or second class upper material, your constituents would say you speak too much grammar or are too sophisticated to represent them and won’t vote you into the national assembly.
Be a loudmouth--an unrefined, dumb loudmouth.
6. Learn how to dodge questions and say little
When you become a senator, you would be asked how much you earn and stuff like that. Your job is not to say a thing. Learning how to dodge questions will serve you very well in the senate.
Learn how to be evasive and to get really angry when folks ask how much you take home. Be an artful dodger.
7. Become an area boy
You see, lawmaking is serious business. It is also brute force.
There are days when you would need to fight for the legislative mace with other lawmakers or when you would have to physically beat up another lawmaker just to earn your fat wardrobe and furniture allowances.
Now is the time to hit the gym and become a real thug. Because you will need those abs and muscles during plenary, trust me.
Congratulations, you can now go ahead and pick that senatorial form. You are well on your way to becoming a very rich Nigerian senator.
Thank me later.
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