According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Nigerian youths represent a vast majority of the voting populace in the country. While 2019 statistics showed that Nigerian youths between ages 18 and 35 summed up to 51.11% or 42,938,458 of the total number of registered voters, 2022 statistics revealed that 8,784,677 of the 12,298,944 newly registered voters (August 2022) were youths. Hence, politicians cannot do without the age distribution in this election season.
Although the population of youths in the country outnumbers any other age group in the country, Nigeria has not experienced this level of participation from youths in an election, both offline and online. Many political experts believe that the 2020 #EndSARS protest was a political awakening for the country’s young population.
Consequently, Nigerian youths have taken up the responsibility of canvassing for votes for their preferred candidates offline or online.
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party and innovator of the third force movement, a campaign that is looking to break the cycle of a two-party presidential race, has gained popularity amongst many youths. In honoring the #OBIdient movement, Nigerians, especially youths, have held one million-man march in several states of the country.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
Supporters of the presidential candidate of the All-Progressive Congress (APC) and Nigeria’s ruling party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, have also held rallies. This time the former Lagos governor’s supporters named it the “five-million-man march.” “Batists” as they are commonly known, were held this March in Lagos state.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
Another leading presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), is not left behind as “Articulates”, as they are called have held a one-million march for the candidate in Niger state.
Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso
The former governor of Kano State and presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) was well-received by a large crowd in Borno State during one of his official visits.