The 20 Laws of Nigerian Politics

To understand Nigerian politics is to understand the following:

  1. Almost every power play is executed by proxies, many times without the direct knowledge of the Principal.
  2. Proxies are all powerful; getting away with murder in the name of the Presidency, ex-Presidents, Ministers, wives of political appointees & elected officials and so on.
  3. Politics is about POWER and how much of the RESOURCES of the nation you can personally appropriate. It is not about PEOPLE or DEVELOPMENT.
  4. You CANNOT escape tribe and religion in Nigerian politics. Accept and work with what you have. 
  5. Money is an inescapable force. It’s virulently ingrained in every aspect of our polity and has been known to make otherwise rational Nigerians lay aside logic and humanity.
  6. He who controls the distribution channels of information controls the political conversation.  
  7. Many news stories are sponsored and full of agenda. Mere citizens are never deemed worthy of knowing the real story. 
  8. Morality hangs by a thread. There are many grey areas in an arena characterised by iniquity, inequity and impunity.  
  9. Political fights and party cross carpeting are the norm. Pull up a chair. They are always rather interesting. 
  10. To succeed in Nigerian politics, you must be exceedingly wise and crafty. True intelligence is not required. We have technocrats for that.
  11. You need spies everywhere as well as a comprehensive political intervention structure (attack dogs included).  
  12. You must be willing to accept what is possible as opposed to what is ideal.
  13. You must have the capacity to sleep well at night having heard plenty of bullshit and witnessed unimaginable evil.
  14. You must have the patience of a snail, the resilience of a caterpillar and the doggedness of a bull.  
  15. The Nigerian citizen can be likened to a daughter who has been imprisoned in a dark basement by her father with barely enough to eat & has been repeatedly raped.  This is the only way to appreciate the trauma, malfunction, split personality and self-preservation of the average Nigerian.
  16. In a country of mass iliterates where the majority are not entrepreneurs and where stock options barely exist for professionals, the easiest route to prosperity is political patronage.
  17. Many Nigerians will claim any tribe, swear any oath and sleep with anyone to get a piece of the national cake
  18. Access to power is not by merit. It’s based on who you know and who owes you.
  19. Idealism must be tempered by reality and pragmatism.
  20. Beware of violence. It is often a ready tool in the hands of those who seek to take all, keep all and protect all.


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