Here is how you can help your family, friends or your favorite politician who is running for office.
Since I made it known to the public that I am running for the position of the President of Nigeria, I have received a lot of messages from people, asking me how they could help out. Most of the time, I am lost for what to say, because this aspiration comes with a lot of responsibilities and pressures. It's hard for me to quickly figure out which of the responsibilities are available to just dump on people when they ask. So I had thought about it in general and I wanted to write this out to help us understand how we could help a politician or anyone who is running for a public office in a democratic setting.
Here are three simple ways to help a politician who is running for office;
- Show up - The number 1 help you can do for someone who is into politics or running for office is to show up for them when you can; especially when you are in the constituency they are in. You are to show up for meetings when one is announced; to consciously arrange to meet them up in their office or home to show support or look out for what you could help fix for them. It would surprise you how much of relief you could bring to their journey by just being there. If you are not there, you would leave the politician alone with sycophants - we are never in short supply of sycophants in politics anyway. And that's why our people should try to show up every time. Also, the place to be, for you to know how best you can help is on the field with him or her. Don't be that person that only support with word of mouth. Let's learn to show up because that is the basis of the little things that count.
- Volunteer - The next thing would be to volunteer to do something. Active politicians always have something to do. There is always flyers to distribute, posters to make, designs to make and push out, media houses to visit, engagement on social. There is usually a lot to do. In this case, it's not enough to ask them what you can volunteer on, you could go a step further by looking out for any vacuum you see that you could help fill. For instance, if you notice the person isn't doing well on social media and you know you could help - just offer to help. It helps more when you look out for something you could help with and then offer to help on it.
- Donate money - running for office comes with a huge financial burden that shouldn't be borne by just the candidate. Usually, it is an opportunity for friends and associates to show support by contributing whatever they can to the purse of the campaign. And like I said earlier, this is also not a place to brake the bank. No one should put themselves in any financial pressure for the purpose of politics. So, there is no small or big donations - it is the heart behind it that matters. When you give 1k naira for instance to my campaign, it means you believe in my candidacy and it assures me that when it's time, you would make the effort to vote for me. I encourage people to donate according to what they have and they should also encourage others to donate. One may only have 2k to donate but still have 5 friends one could influence to donate more. Tiny drops of water can make a ocean.
In conclusion, politics is not something one can do alone. And while it's not all of us that would ever get the mandate to run for office, we can all come together to support those among us who are stepping out to serve right now.
The three areas I mentioned above are critical for anyone who would succeed in politics. Success in politics requires you to have people who love you enough to show up for you, people who believe in you enough to volunteer to work for you and people who are kind enough to support you with their donations.
I hope I can find all these in you!