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2023: Elections in Nigeria too expensive for youths – YIAGA

BY ANKELI EMMANUEL, Sokoto

A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement Africa (YIAGA) has decried the fact that elections in Nigeria are too expensive and are thus discouraging youths from seeking electives positions.

YIAGA Africa which is a UKAID sponsored NGO made the observation in Sokoto Tuesday at a one-day media roundtable on youth reporting in the 2023 general elections.

Speaking on the state of youth candidacy in Nigeria, Ibrahim Faruk from YIAGA Africa said that despite the “Not Too Young To Run Act”, there was a decline in youth candidacy from 34 percent in 2019 to 28.6 percent in 2023.

Giving reasons for the decline, Ibrahim Faruk said, “from YIAGA Africa perspective, the decline in youth candidacy is attributed to a range of factors. Principal amongst them is the excessive cost of nomination forms, highly commercialized party primaries, substitution of candidates and the deregistration of political parties”.

Continuing, Ibrahim Faruk said, “The highly monetized party primaries shrunk the political space and limited fair competition. Most young aspirants declined to pursue their political aspirations due to non-affordability of the forms and lack of resources to procure delegates”.

While noting that the current political financing creates unfair competition and shrinks the political space to the detriment of competent leaders, youth, and women, Ibrahim advised that urgent political finance reform is necessary to ensure the political space becomes accessible to all persons regardless of age, economic class, tribe and creed.

On the 18 political parties’ accommodation of youth candidacy ahead of 2023 general elections, YIAGA Africa rated the African Democratic Congress (ADC) first with the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) coming 3rd, the Labour Party being 6th and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) coming distant last on 13th and 15th respectively.

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