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Is Anyone Eligible To Be President in Nigeria? What Are The Requirements?

Is Anyone Eligible To Be President in Nigeria? What Are The Requirements?

Ever since the president of Nigeria was impeached, many Nigerians have been wondering if it is possible for any Nigerian to be eligible to become President. This blog post will explore the eligibility requirements and who are some potential candidates that may be considered.


Section 1: Who is eligible to be president?

Section 1 (1) of the constitution of Nigeria states that:


“A person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member of the Senate unless he is a citizen of Nigeria by birth.”


There are a few notable exclusions. The first is “natural born citizens” who are Nigerians. Second is any person who has acquired citizenship by any other means such as naturalization. The third is any person who “has not attained the age of 30 and who has not completed the compulsory public service.”


However, all other constitutional requirements for eligibility are applicable. We’ll deal with each of these individually and see where they leave candidates in terms of eligibility.




What are the requirements for eligibility?

In order to become president in Nigeria, you need to be a citizen of Nigeria and older than 35 years of age. This information was confirmed by our politicians. A citizen of Nigeria is anyone born in Nigeria, is a Nigerian at the moment, or has lived in Nigeria for an extended period of time.


You also have to have completed a political science degree from a recognized university. This is a requirement for any Nigerian wanting to run for any political office. We had a political science undergraduate who wrote a novel and based her research on politics, so she qualified. If a candidate is not eligible to be a citizen of Nigeria, but has a master’s degree, he or she is also ineligible to run for president.


How can you become President?

The constitution of Nigeria has a bit of a loose definition of eligibility for President. The criteria for eligibility in the constitution is rather limited and complex, but there are a few key points that have been consistent since 1960.


To become eligible to be president, you have to be at least 40 years old (50 in certain cases), a citizen of Nigeria for at least 14 years, and a qualified Nigerian from a Niger-Delta state. There are some other restrictions and qualifications in the constitution as well. For example, you have to be a Christian, born and raised in Nigeria, and have been an active member of the APC party for a minimum of 3 years. Also, you must resign from your current government post before becoming president (unfortunately!).


Who are some potential candidates that may be considered?

Lets begin with our current president. The president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari was elected into office on February 2015 as the sixth president of Nigeria since the return of democracy in 1999. Before his election in 2015, he was a military Head of State, serving as the military leader of Nigeria between 1983 and 1985. Before this, he was a military general in the Nigerian Army serving as Chief of Army Staff and later as Chief of Defence Staff of the Nigerian military.


President Buhari is currently a Fulani Muslim from the Fulani ethnic group. He was born in Daura, Katsina state, in the northern part of Nigeria on December 17, 1942. During his time as a general in the Nigerian military, he had charge of the operation in the Biafra civil war from 1968 to 1970.



A president must satisfy one of the four requirements for running for president and obtaining a certain amount of popular support in order to be elected. He/she must be over 35 years of age, must be a Nigerian citizen, must be capable of discharging the duties and responsibilities of the office and must have been a qualified person to be president. Other terms of qualification are necessary to be President. A person may be able to perform a function of office, but not able to hold a position in office. This is known as incompatibility of functions.


The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides an overarching framework for the election of the President of Nigeria, he/she is allowed to be elected by a plurality vote from among all candidates.



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