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'We Want Change!': Nigerian Youth

Young people walk past election campaign posters in the capital Lagos, Feb. 21, 2023.
Young people walk past election campaign posters in the capital Lagos, Feb. 21, 2023.

Nigerian youth are urging their peers to come out in large numbers on February 25 to vote for leaders that will promote policies that uplift the West African nation.

Experts report that approximately 40 percent of registered voters in Nigeria’s upcoming election are under the age of 35 and are hopeful that change is coming as the West African nation votes in a new president.

Experts add that recent developments such as the cash and fuel shortages have left millions of energetic, creative, and successful youths itching for the West African nation to advance.

Fred Oyetayo, a 29-year-old Nigerian tech entrepreneur said his peers are demanding change.

“We all want change,” said Oyetayo.

Racheal Inegbedion, a Nigerian youth rights advocate echoed Oyetayo's sentiments.

“Nigerian youth have fully expressed their desire to see tangible change,” said Inegbedion.

“They are talking about improved infrastructure, job creation and other things that have been lacking,” she added.

Brandon Okori, a 23-year-old student at the University of Abuja said he is going to vote for the Labor Party (L.P) candidate, Peter Obi, who experts have labelled Saturday’s third-party force that is favorite among youth.

“I am definitely voting (for) Obi,” said Okori.

Daniel Ononaye, a 22-year-old student and friend to Okori, echoed the sentiments.

“Obi is not there for the money or the power, like the two others,” he said referring to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate Bola Tinubu and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar.

Zahra Abba, a student at the University of Maiduguri expressed dislike for the Labor Party candidate.

“Who is Peter Obi? From which state? Anambra? I don’t like him,” she said.

Abba added that she would have voted for the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari if he was running again but will likely settle for Abubakar.

Fakhrriyah Hashim, a 30-year-old resident of the northern city of Kano said she is weighing her options between the two opposition candidates.

“I don’t want to cast my vote for someone who may lose, and just hand the victory to the ruling party, so I might vote Atiku (Abubakar), I might vote Obi, it depends on what their chances look like in the next few days,” said Hashim.

VOA’s Mike Hove contributed to this report. Information was sourced from Agence France-Presse.