By Ruth Olurounbi and Neil Munshi in Bloomberg. Here is an excerpt:
Nigerians are gearing up to choose a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari, whose eight years in power have been blighted by economic decay, soaring unemployment, heightened insecurity and an exodus of the educated elite. The Feb. 25 vote in Africa’s most populous nation pits long-familiar politicians in their 70s against a challenger from a fringe opposition party who held a hefty lead in early polls. The election has sparked unprecedented interest among young Nigerians tired of being ruled by an old guard of leaders who’ve done little to improve their living standards or chances of getting a job. About 40% of the 93.5 million registered voters are younger than 35. In the US, that figure is about 25%.
While Nigeria’s fortunes have slipped in recent years, it is still Africa’s biggest economy and oil producer, and a major regional power broker. Its population of over 200 million is set to more than double by 2050, which would make it the world’s third-most populous nation. Previous presidential elections held in Nigeria since it returned to democracy in 1999 have been dominated by candidates from the ruling All Progressive Congress and the rival People’s Democratic Party. But the shift in voting demographics is shaking up the status quo, with Peter Obi, an ex-governor of Anambra state and candidate of the Labour Party, galvanizing support among youth.
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