Trivia: Eight Stats From INEC’s Official 2019 Presidential Candidates List

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The 2019 Elections

INEC has published the authoritative list of candidates challenging Muhammadu Buhari for the privilege to be Nigeria’s President after May 29, 2019.

It features 144 names of presidential candidates and running mates of 72 political parties. Two empty spaces are yet to be filled for the Social Democratic Party due to as court case. From the list available, here are a number of things to note from the 2019 presidential candidates and their running mates:

Mean Age

  • The average age of the presidential candidates is 52 years. For the running mates, it is 48. Should any of the presidential 38 candidates 52 years or younger manage to be elected, he will become Nigeria’s youngest ever president; Goodluck Jonathan became Acting President at 53 in April 2010. However, a 48-year old who becomes elected VP will still be one year older than Alex Ekwueme was when he became Shehu Shagari’s Vice President in the Second Republic.
  • President Buhari, at 75, is the oldest presidential candidate this year. He is at least 42 years older than Nseobong Nsehe of Restoration Party, the youngest. Arthur Nwankwo Agwuncha of PT is the oldest running mate (76), while Omede Johnson of NNPP is the youngest at 30.
  • APC’s Buhari-Osinbajo ticket is the oldest by age of the candidates (65.5) while the NNPP duo that includes Johnson is the youngest at 34 and a half years (34.5)

Older President, Younger VP

  • President Goodluck Jonathan was the first of Nigeria’s democratic heads of government to have a man older than himself as Vice President. Both President Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar are fourteen years older than their running mates, and the feature of older presidential candidates runs through the other popular contestants including Ezekwesili, Moghalu, Sowore and Durotoye. The largest age gap between an older presidential candidate and a younger running mate is the 22 years that separate NAC’s candidates (interestingly, it is between a woman and a man respectively).
  • But there are 22 tickets where the deputy is older, from minor differences of five years or less (12 tickets) to age gaps as large as 26 and 27 years. Both VP candidates in these cases are in their 70s while the presidential candidates are in their 40s (how will their governments work though?).

Gender Pairs

  • Nigeria has never had either a female president or vice president, and it has not been for want of interested candidates for either positions. In 2019, more women than ever will be on the tickets of political parties seeking these positions.
  • Of the 72 parties, 27 have at least one woman running either as a presidential candidate or vice presidential candidate, an impressive 37.5% that may suggest greater participation of women in elective politics.
  • But a woman is the presidential candidate with a male running mate on only 5 of these 27 tickets, the most notable in this group being ACPN’s Ezekwesili. There are 28 women in total, with one party (NPC) presenting the only female-female ticket.

Have you noticed any interesting piece of statistic from the presidential candidates list? Find it here as published by INEC (it’s only 23 pages) and let us know what unique patterns you find and what you think they may mean.

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