Of the over 84 million registered voters for the forthcoming general elections, Nigerians within the age group of 18-35, constitute about 51% according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Technical Adviser of the Office of the Statiscan-General, Lola Talabi-Oni stated at the YIAGA Africa’s Presentation of Report on Youth Candidacy in the 2019 General Elections in Abuja.
Talabi stated, “Recently released figures by INEC revealed that consolidated registered number of voters for 2019 general elections are just over 84million”
She continued, “Nigerian youth within the age group of 18-35 are the highest population of voters constituting over 51% of all registered voters while 20.6% of voters are students.
Also at the event, while presenting the Report, YIAGA Africa’s Watching the Vote, Project Coordinator, Cynthia Mbamalu and Board Member, YIAGA Africa, Ezenwa Nwagwu said 2019 General elections will be one of the most contested elections since the transition to democracy in 1999 with 91 registered political parties and 73 presidential candidates.
They added that “this is even as the 2019 elections records 1,904 candidates for the Senate, 4,680 for the House of Representatives, 1,066 for the Governorship and 14,583 for the State Assemblies”
Ezenwa said “beyond the high number of candidate’s highlights is a more competitive political environment with the increase in political debates and more importantly the number of young people registered as voters and contesting the elections. The release of the list of candidates by INEC for elections into the National Assembly (House of Representatives and Senate), Office of the President, Governors and State Houses of Assembly provides invaluable data and opportunity to carry out analysis of youth candidacy in the 2019 general elections”.
Ms Mbamalu further elaborated that in total 1,515 youth candidates representing 23% of all the candidates contested for seats in NASS, ten candidates or 14% of Presidential Candidates are aged between 35-40, while youth candidates increased from increased 18% in the 2015 House of Representatives election to 27.4% in the 2019 House of Representatives election.
She also revealed that the North West is having the highest number of youth’s candidates for the House of Representatives and Senate Elections.