If the final list of registered voters for the 2019 general election recently released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will determine the outcome of the poll, whosoever must emerge as Nigeria's next president has to be popular among the youths.
This constitutes 50 per cent of the registered voters.
According to the commission's figure, total number of registered voters in the 18-35 age bracket is 42, 938, 458 (51.11 per cent) while those between 36 and 50 years are 25,176,144 (29.97 per cent).
From age 51 to 70 are 2,788,511 (15.22 per cent) while ages 71 and above is 3,100,971, which is about 3.69 per cent.
The implication of the figures is that Nigeria's next president must be able to win the support of people between age 18 and 50 years old in next month's election.
The postulation was corroborated by the results of a recent poll where younger candidates that seem to be preferred by the youths defeated presidential candidates of the two main parties, All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In the seven-day online poll on twitter, for Nigerians to vote for their choice candidates, the final result, as displayed on the website of the organisers, Nigerian Youth Decide (http://www.nigerianyouthdecide.org) shows the respective winners of each of the eight categories into which the 30 nominated presidential candidates were grouped.
However, based on the percentage of each candidate's votes compared to the total votes cast, the top 10 candidate with the highest voters are David Esosa Ize-Iyamu of Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP) who polled 33.67 % followed by Omoyele Sowore of African Action Congress (AAC) who scored 18.7 %.
Candidate of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Mr. Fela Durotoye came third with 16.59 % followed by President Muhammadu Buhari of APC who polled 8.97 %.
Others are Prof. Kingsley Moghalu of YPP (3.95 %), Tope Fashua of ANRP (3.94 %), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of PDP (3.58%), Oby Ezekwesili, ACPN (1.39 %), Ahmed Buhari of SNP (1.24 %) and Rev. Chris Okotie of FDP (1.16 %).
Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim of PT took the eleventh position with (0.98 %) followed by Chike Ukaegebu of AAP with (0.77 %).
In the 13 position is Dr. Nicholas Felix PCP who polled (0.76 %) while Alistair Soyode of YES polled (0.58 %), he was followed by Yabagi Sanni of ADP (0.57 %) and John Dara of ASD followed with (0.54%). Emmanuel Etim of CNP came 17th with (0.4%) while Prof. Jerry Gana of Social Democratic Party (SDP) came 18th with (0.39 %) and others.
The online and coming presidential debate scheduled for January 26th is supported by the Nigerian Youth Decide (NYD), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Youth wing (YOWICAN), Islamic Association of Nigeria (Jama'atul Nasirul Islam (JNI), Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) and Nigerians Diaspora Movement (NDM).
Meanwhile, youths' camp of Ize-Iyamu's BNPP said the exclusion of its candidate from the debate was unacceptable.
The Youths Forum's convener, Paul Adejumo, alleged that the Federal Government, from some of its recent actions, was obviously becoming jittery over the growing nationwide support from millions of Nigerians for Ize-Iyamu who is also the PFN's youth leader, hence his exclusion from the debate.
"We are calling on the NEDG and BON to immediately include our candidate, the BNPP presidential flag bearer, Rev. David Esosa Ize-Iyamu, so that he has the same platform as other candidates to tell Nigerians about his great plans for the nation," Adejumo said.
"Ize-Iyamu is the current National Leader of the 17 million-member Youth Wing of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, and founder of the Youth Revolution Movement (YRM). The candidate's bold and courageous stand on some burning national issues has endeared them to many Nigerians."