No fewer than 1,515 young Nigerians will contest for the Senate and House of Representatives positions at the forthcoming general elections.
Ezenwa Nwagwu, board member, YIAGA AFRICA, made this known at the Public Presentation of report on Youth Candidacy in the elections compiled by YIAGA AFRICA.
Nwagwu said he got the figure from the Independent National Electoral Commission.
He said: “The release of the list of candidates by the Independent National Electoral Commission for elections into the National Assembly and other offices provides invaluable data.
“This afforded YIAGA AFRIAC the opportunity to carry out comprehensive analysis of youths candidacy in the 2019 general elections in Nigeria.
“The participation of youths in the electoral process will enable them to effectively enforce their civic rights, only when their political aspirations are firmly protected in the constitution.”
According to him, the number represents 27.4 per cent for House of Representatives and 13.5 per cent for the Senate.
The number he said was against 18 per cent recorded for the House of Representatives and 10 per cent for the Senate in the 2015 general elections.
He attributed the increased participation of youths to the Not-Too-Young-To-Run law.
The board member also said that of the 1,904 senatorial candidates, 253 were youths while 1,262 youths were among 4,680 candidates that would contest for the House of Representatives.
He said that the North-West had the highest number of youths contesting for the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Nwagwu said that the observable trends in the participation of youth candidates between 18 years and 35 years in the 2019 general elections were in two broad segments.
He said that the first segment was on youth participation in the National Assembly, and Presidential elections while the second was on the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections.
Cynthia Mbamalu, Programme Manager, YIAGA AFRICA, said that 10 candidates or 14 per cent of the Presidential candidates aged between 35 and 40.
Mbamalu said that 15 per cent of political parties fielded candidates for the office of Vice-Presidential that were aged between 35 and 40.
She said that the number of young female candidates in the 2015 general elections was below 20 per cent and was even lower in the 2019 general elections.
She said that less than one tenth of the candidates vying for the position of the Governor in 29 states were youth candidates, compared to 22.9 per cent contesting for deputy.
The programme officer said that majority of the youth contesting for the positions of the governor and deputy were in the North-West at 33.7 per cent and 29.7 per cent.
Mbamalu said that 89 per cent of the youth candidates for the position of governor were males, while 11 per cent were females, compared to 72 per cent males and 28 per cent females for deputy.
She said that 41.8 per cent youth candidates were vying for seats in the State Houses of Assembly in all the 36 states with the majority 23.5 per cent from the North-West.
Mbamalu said that only 13.9 per cent of the youth candidates for the State Houses of Assembly elections were females while 86.1 per cent were males.
She said that the good news was that, there was strong and positive relationship between the number of registered young voters and the number of youth candidates contesting election in the National Assembly.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the report on youth candidacy is produced with support from the United Kingdom Agency for International Development.