Yiaga Africa Decries Low Participation Of Youth Candidates

An NGO, Yiaga Africa, has expressed concern over low participation of youth candidates in the 2023 elections..

This is contained in a preliminary report on the Youth candidacy in the 2023 elections in Nigeria presented to participants at a media roundtable on youth reporting organised by the NGO, on Wednesday in Sokoto.

Presenting the report, Mr Ibrahim Faruk, Yiaga Africa Programme Manager, attributed the problem to the excessive costs of nomination forms, highly commercialised party primaries, substitution of candidates and the de-registration of political parties.

“The highly monetised party primaries shrunk the political space and limited fair competition.

“This was a development that stopped most young aspirants to pursue their political dreams due to non affordability of the forms and lack of resources to procure delegates,” he said.

Faruk said youth candidacy in the 2023 polls stood at just 4,398 out of a total of 15,336 candidates, representing a paltry 28.6 per cent of the total number of candidates.

“Key findings by Yiaga Africa from the 2023 candidates analysis also indicate that 43.2 per cent of youth candidates in the 2023 elections were direct beneficiaries of Not-too-Young-to-Run Act.

“Moreover, of the 15,336 candidates in the ballot in the 2023 elections, 4,398 are youth candidates, with only 1,899 between the ages of 25-30 years,” he said.

Faruk added that among the youth candidates, seven individuals representing 0.2 per cent, belong to persons living with disabilities in the 2023 election, while 11 per cent are female youth candidates.

“We are therefore of the opinion that to secure electoral victory for youth candidates, political parties should provide technical, financial and logistics support to young male and female candidates during the campaigns,” he added.

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