by Aminu Yusuf Roni
One thing you shall never ignore is what your opponent is doing for the people. Find out and add to it. Hire some snoopy loyalists to do it for you. If he is building ten shops for the youths, build fifteen or twenty.
Nigerians love money because it can do everything, that is why everyone is after it. Don’t lie, God sees you. If you lie, there is God o. Remeber? Money can buy clothes for you. It can buy food for you. It can secure some contemporary gadgets for you. With money you can fly abroad and enjoy yourself. In fact, money can magnetize women to you; yes, lot of them. Come to think of it, if not for money, why would that beautiful, white girl marry the black son of… erhm, forget. I don’t envy him, he is handsome. But why him? As beautiful as she is, I’d assume that she has a boyfriend or blush of boyfriends; why did she ditched them all for him? (I think Akon influenced her with his single, ” Ditch ya boyfriend”, that is why she chose to dump her white suitors for a black, billionaire’s son). Don’t assume it is all true love, that type of love never exists with money in sight. I am not trying to make noise or snoop on their lives. I am not a meagre version of Edwin Snowden. All I am trying to point out is the power of money. There is absolutely, almost, nothing that money cannot do. Some are arguing that money cannot buy happiness. Well, I think it can. May be they don’t know how to utilize or spend it; there are many ladies out there who can help you with that, free of charge! Just get the money, you will make a testimony.
You might have started a business but debtors brought you down. Or you have no one in the government to secure a white-collar job; you cannot lobby for any job. It is possible, in Nigeria. Don’t worry, I have a way out for you; join politics. You will make a lot of money. But it is not joining politics that is difficult in Nigeria, it is how to excel in the “business”. Glad that I know a little about it; i can help.
First of all, don’t rush into joining a political party. Find a pretty lucrative one; those that aren’t dared by the EFCC or ICPC are perfect examples. Find one and join. Don’t bother about who and who are there, you will fit in. Be patient. Never, ever join the party of some former anti-corruption bosses, they will be a huge discouragement and disappointment for your struggle, while they might have stole too. And in your choosing a party never goof off: always consider the ruling party, and the next. You will never miss the target by so doing. Politics is just like a game, you have to venture and take risks. Prior to your joining, save a lot of MONEY. Save millions, so you can steal billions when you get to the power. You can take a loan, it doesn’t matter. Feed the party. Donate and donate. Make sure they know and notice it.
Now that you are settled in the party. Consult all the bokayes (voodoo doctors) you know, that you should be fielded as the perspective candidate of your perspective office. Let them work for you. Nigerian politics is all about promise- whether empty or not. Promise the Bokayes that you will take them from the bush to the city, where you will take care of their “everything”.
The Hausas say “kuturu da kudinsa, alkaki sai na kasan kwano” (A leper with his money, chooses a pancake from the deepest side of the bowl). The more you “invest” the higher you go. The more you desire, the better. Make up your mind and see that you are fielded. Now that you are the chosen candidate. Plan big. You will contest for an office, a likelihood of political bank. Start campaigning.
As a politician-a Nigerian one for that matter- you need to learn how to tell lies, and go away with it. Very imperative. You cannot prosper without lying, believe me. But don’t let them find out. If they unluckily do, don’t worry about what they may call you. You don’t need to be “maigaskiya” to be a (moneymaking) politician. Take a look at the well-known Maigaskiya, what has he got? how many oil blocs did he own? his houses and cars? he is so “poor” because of his purported truthfulness. You see, truth doesn’t bring money in Nigeria. Find a better way: tell lies. Don’t bother about probe, it never work in Nigeria. Just go for it!
Religion shall play a huge role in your campaign. It doesn’t matter if you are a Muslim or a Christian. Just memorise some selected verses from the two holy books. But be careful not to goof. If you are a Muslim, and your opponent is also a Muslim, in addition, go to the churches around; give them a speech, a heart touching one. Tell them that you will build more churches for them, and that no pastor will collect tithes from them; you will finance the church(es). Be smart and vigilant. Quote from the holy Bible… They will nod and say ” This man really is good for us”. Also, tell them that you have two wives: a Christian and a Muslim. You don’t need to be telling the truth. They are Nigerians; they may not care about your polygamy since “their” sister is part of you. They will expect big. You will not know when they will fill the ballot box with papers, containing marks on your party.
If you wish, you can doctor an event. Arrange some of your boys to come over and mock you in the church; they shall appear to be from the opposition party. Let them come to the church when you are in and say something like ” Look at this foolish politician. He thinks Christians are worth of consideration. Our leader (mention the name of the contender) will never do such stupid things as coming to the church. God forbid! That is why he asked us not to come near those Christians”. Reply them, loudly and harshly, with: ” I know your leader’s ignorance. He never sees the Christians as brothers; he hates them, I don’t. I believe in equality. Go and tell those who send you that I just begin to come and see my people in the church”. Hiss and stop at that. The church will love and support you henceforth. Don’t forget to pay those impostors immediately and handsomely, else they will expose you. And your ambition is spoiled.
If you are Muslim, with a Christian opponent, this will help you. Gather support of the Muslims, first. Go to the mosque regularly. Attend Islamic events and give speeches. Seminars too. Don’t forget with Islamiyyas. Almajiris should be on your mind. Whenever you will speak, dress appropriately. Take care of your beard, it counts. If you are meeting the Sunnis, let your trouser stay a little above your heel. You can auction these clothes later, if you like. If you are meeting the Shias, it is incumbent upon you to change your dress code. Just be pious before them. Muslims want religious politicians. Tell them your plans for the Deen, which must include building new mosques and Islamic schools; donating to the Islamic organizations. Sponsor as much as many radio and television shows, and ask the presenters to acknowledge your sponsorship. People listen to the radio nowadays, make use of that.
Promise them that when Ramadan comes, they don’t need a grain in their barns; you will feed them all. Feeding is important, that is why you must take advantage of the Almajirai. Serve food for the Almajirai. It can be delicious or not, they will not bother; the fact that you have supplied suffices to garner support for you. Yes, most of the Almajirai are small children, thus can’t vote, but they can help you. Find a day to let them feed themselves, one day a week. Ask them to mention your name when they go to house-by-house begging. Instead of just saying ” Sadaka! Ta annabi! Ko saura ne ma, ko gaya ne…” (Alms! For the sake of the Prophet! Even if it is a leftover, even if it is not souped…), let them place your name for people to hear. They can change it to ” Sadaka! Ta annabi! Ko da bai kai na gidan Alhaji (your name here)…” (Alms! For the sake of the Prophet! Even if it cannot be compared to that in Alhaji (your name)’s house…) The people might have been wondering why the Almajirai don’t beg anymore. Well, now they have found the answer: it was you, for your pity and kindness, who was feeding the “boys”. You will get some more support for that.
If you are Christians, do the same thing; follow the same tactics. I guarantee that you will win. Visit mosques, feed during the Ramadan; like I said, it is important. They will not forget that. A saying goes: To know and please a man (especially a Nigerian) know and please his stomach. During Sallah, buy rams and distribute. During Christmas, make offerings, sponsor as many events.
One thing you shall never ignore is what your opponent is doing for the people. Find out and add to it. Hire some snoopy loyalists to do it for you. If he is building ten shops for the youths, build fifteen or twenty. Do big. Don’t mind risking your money, you will take that back when you win. Keep it in mind.
Criticise your opponent severely. Tell lies against him; lies that he would find silly to refute. You will win over. Open up on how his late father misruled the community. Remind people about the “like father, like son” parlance. You don’t need history to agree with you. You said it, whether or not his father was once a community leader, you don’t care. Let him come out and deny it. Believe me, many people will trust you. And in the process of the refutation of your “truth” he might reveal some secrets. He may, being ignorant of his history, maintain that it was his uncle, not father. You see, it will help. You can repent later; Nigerian politicians love to sin and repent. You may also, after winning with a landslide victory, ask for his forgiveness. Give him something, a token. Nigerian politicians love to forgive, with something at hand. Be careful not to ask for his forgiveness if you are running for a second term, come next election. And if you change your mind, to re-contest, after apologizing, do something. I mean something.
Remember the security forces. They can help you rig. The soldiers can scare people, feed them to flex their muscle. The police are your friends, give them something. They will not arrest your thugs.
Nigeria is a place to excel politically. You need to feign every good habit. No need of being genuine or pious. Never show them your true colour. Hide and sin, to win. Remember that “God forgives, I don’t”. Transgress vigilantly. I don’t advise that you make mistake, and if you fail and relate it to me, there is God ooo.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.