Can someone without political-office-experience rescue Nigeria?

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political office experience

Employers of labour often prefer candidates with sufficient work experience to ensure refined service and productivity. Yet, despite the preference for experienced candidates, not all experiences are considered relevant to specific tasks. Hence, a distinction rises in the experiences between butchers and surgeons, and between prison commanders (force) and choirmasters/song commanders (freewill). The purpose of employment determines the type of experience to be required from applying candidates. Understanding Nigeria’s fundamental problem and how it has been handled so far determines whether Nigeria should continue with the current stream of political office experience, or needs a new experience.


The collaboration between communities in progressive societies is likened to choir members’ collaboration under a choirmaster.[1] Unfortunately, many Nigerians’ comments about their intentions if they become presidents manifests a prison-commander-mentality of leadership in Nigeria. “If I become president, I will enforce this, ban that, jail or exile these, execute those and confiscate their wealth.” Obviously they have not understood the meaning of leadership as a harmonization of humans and their initiatives. Instead, they see leadership from the colonial prism of imposing their subjectively perfect ideas on other people. Since they have only experienced imposition as leadership, they may not understand the difference between developing laws and making laws.


Progressive societies are formed by the agreement of members of the society to collaborate in utilizing their resources in producing what they need. But Nigeria was not formed by an agreement between the different peoples in it. Instead, hundreds of unconsented communities and kingdoms were brutally yoked together under a militarized government.[2] The militarized government seizes and auctions the communities’ resources, and military contains them from rebelling. However, if Nigerian communities and kingdoms negotiate and agree to utilize their resources for productivity, Nigeria will progress. Hence, Nigeria needs a leader who can organize Nigerian communities to negotiate and collaborate for productivity and common good.


Someone without political office experience may not be able to organize such negotiation for collaborative productivity.

  • People without political office experience may be maneuvered by the experienced people there.
  • Their lack of opportunity to obtain political office experience could be a testimony of their lack of electable personalities.
  • They may not have been well connected to know the people that can reshape Nigeria.
  • Even if they want to change the system, they may lack the understanding of how to change it.


On the contrary, we do not need to understand ALL the nuances of evil before we seek what is good. And Nigeria has many good people who can transform it from autocracy to democracy without having Nigeria’s political office experience.

  • Nigeria may not really need someone who has mastered Nigeria’s prison-form of governance, since it has never worked.
  • There are people with sufficient experience of democratically formed groups, yet without a chance for Nigeria’s political office experience.
  • Many of the people running the political system have not experienced any true democratic governance before, and may only be liabilities to democratic governance.
  • People who have practically and theoretically studied Nigeria can effect changes without prior political office experience. They will not necessarily be manoeuvred by the ‘corruptly’ experienced people if they have really studied Nigeria and Nigerians well. Nigerians are not bad people, they are good people who are afraid of losing out their means of sustenance.
  • Some people who could have transformed Nigeria may not have had the chance due to high monetary demand in Nigerian politics and fearful disapproval by the system.

Though political office experience may be needed for effective performance in readjusting Nigeria, it does not disqualify anybody. People who believe that they can transform Nigeria must begin to demonstrate their understanding of Nigerians and their circumstance. In addition, they must demonstrate their intended methodology, commitment and willingness to elicit the agreement that can transform Nigeria. Public ‘servants’ cannot claim to be serving a people who have not said what they want in the form of a constitution.


Nigeria does not necessarily need a continuation of experienced politicians, but a people with vision and willpower to create a new Nigeria.


[1] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, Tribalism, the disguised saviour of Nigeria, in Restartnaija 23rd December, 2017. retrieved 23rd March, 2017.

[2] Cf. S. O. Oyedele, “Federalism in Nigeria” in Issues contemporary political economy of Nigeria (edited) Hassan A. Saliu, (Ilorin, Sally & Associates, 1999). p.57