Factsheet on youth and the 2019 elections in Nigeria
Nigeria has conducted five general elections since the return to civil rule; 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and2015. The five elections were noted for the low levels of youth participation as candidates. This situation was in part due to the 1999 Constitution which placed minimum age limits for those wishing to contest the following elective positions and seats; President 40 years, Senate, 35 years, House of Representatives, 30 years, Governors, 35 years and State Houses of Assembly, 30 years. The constitutional age requirements shut the door on Nigerian youth who constitute a majority of the population and registered voters.
The circumstances of the 2019 general elections scheduled for February 16, 2019 for Presidential and National Assembly and March 2, 2019 for the Gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly polls, are however significantly different, thanks to the passage of the Not Too Young To Run bill into law in 2018. The campaign to lower the constitutional age limit to increase the involvement of the youth, defined as Nigerians in the age bracket of 18-35 years in the electoral process, was spearheaded by YIAGA AFRICA and the Not Too Young To Run Movement.