The 2023 general election will not be forgotten in a hurry, particularly for the youths. It was an election that saw many young ones challenging the status quo while recording significant feats in the process.
From the presidential to governorship, national assembly and state assembly elections, the youth made a strong statement — we are critical to nation-building.
CRISPNG examines some young ones whose heroics in the general election will keep dominating discussions for weeks to come. Their victories, to a large extent, will inspire other youths to dream big and overcome long-held fears that politics is only for the old money-bag politicians.
Bashir Usman Gorau — 33-year-old unionist
On Sunday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Bashir Usman Gorau as the winner of the house of representatives election for the Gada-Goronyo federal constituency in Sokoto state.
Gorau, who ran under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), polled 29,679 votes to defeat Musa Adar of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Not many saw that upset coming prior to the election.
For context, Adar has been in the green chamber since 2007 — which means 20 years in office — and was seeking a fifth term. But he only managed to garner 25,549 votes, which placed him behind Gorau.
Gorau, who is known as a unionist, was the immediate past commissioner for youth and sports development in Sokoto.
In a Facebook post, the rep-elect appreciated God and his supporters for making his victory possible.
Musa Lawan Majakura — the 32-year-old history maker
Running against Ahmed Lawan Mirwa, the speaker of the Yobe state house of assembly, certainly is not something easy on paper. Mirwa, who is representing Nguru state constituency II, has been in the state assembly for 20 years.
He was on the verge of securing another term of four years.
But 32-year-old Musa Lawan Majakura of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was determined to brace the odds. And he won.
Majakura scored 6,648 votes to defeat Mirwa of All Progressives Congress (APC) who got 6,466 votes.
Expectedly, his victory has elicited optimism for young ones in Yobe’s political ecosystem.
Rasheed Kashamu — the 26-year-old trail-blazer
26-year-old Rasheed Kashamu also made history when he won the House of Assembly election winner in Ijebu North Constituency 1 in Ogun State.
Results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showed Kashamu, who is son of the late Senator Kashamu, polled 10,004 votes to defeat Sylvester ‘Niyi Abiodun of the All Progressives Party (APC).
Enter Rukayat Shittu — the courageous 26-year-old female politician
In Nigeria, only a few women have the courage to navigate the murky waters of the country’s politics.
Rukayat is one of them.
The 26-year-old won a seat in the Kwara State House of Assembly to represent the Owode/Onire constituency, Asa local government of the state.
Rukayat has held several leadership positions in the past including being Senate President of Congress of NOUN Students (CONS).
The lady, who contested on the platform of the APC, scored 7,521 votes to beat her PDP rival who polled 6,957 votes.
Muhammad Adamu Oyanki’s heroics
Muhammad Adamu Oyanki was among the youngest elected legislators in the just concluded HoA elections.
Oyanki won the State House of Assembly seat for Doma North Constituency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in Nasarawa State.
The development is a boost for Nigeria’s not-too-young-to-run bill initiative to encourage the participation of young Nigerians in politics.
In May 2018, President Muhammadu signed the not-too-young-to-run bill into law, a constitutional amendment pushed by young Nigerians which led to a reduction in the age requirement of running for elective positions in the House of Assembly and House of Representatives from 30 to 25 years, Senate and Governorship from 35 to 30 years and office of the President from 40 to 30 years and independent candidates in Nigeria.
In the build-up to the general elections, INEC had said that there were 93,469,008 voters for the 2023 elections; of this figure, 37,060,399 or 39.65 per cent of voters are between the ages of 18 and 34.