It was an inspiring moment for the world, but particularly for Nigerians, when 39 year-old Emmanuel Macron emerged winner of the French Presidential elections.

It was particularly inspiring for Nigerians because it is hard to imagine anyone less than forty ruling our country. Especially as even our constitution requires a Presidential candidate to be 40 years or above to be eligible to contest.

…and also, apparently, a candidate must also be male.

But the youth in Nigeria are not sleeping, and if there’s anything we have learnt about the power of young Nigerians, it is that we can do anything we set our minds to.

Here is a list – in no particular order – of 6 Nigerians under 40 who could lead Nigeria if that nonsense forty or over law did not exist:

1. Japheth Omojuwa

This 32 year-old blogger, public speaker, socio-economic and political commentator and social media expert, was also named the most influential young Nigerian way back in 2012, among other accolades and awards. He’s always on Twitter, openly criticizing the Nigerian government and all its shortcomings. If Nigeria was a fair country, he should have the opportunity to create a party, campaign and maybe even win.

2. Seun Onigbinde

Co-founder and CEO of BudgIT Nigeria, his passion to make governance more accountable and transparent has helped foster social change. If this 31 year-old were to be allowed to campaign, how much transparent and accountable do you think his government would be?

3. Ayo Sogunro

This 32 year-old Activist, Lawyer and Writer, is also a Social Entrepreneur. You can find him on Twitter here. His political contributions have inspired many. Imagine how much more he could achieve if given the chance to campaign?

4. Chude Jideonwo

Lawyer, award-winning journalist, media entrepreneur and also co-founder and Managing Partner of Red Africa/The Future Project. This 32 year-old has created an online media dynasty in such a short time, imagine what he could do with Nigeria if the “ogas at the top” will just allow somebody to be great?

5. Aisha Yesufu

She might be over 40, but her dedication and influence in the #BringBackOurGirls campaign in addition to her no-holds-barred approach to speaking the truth has earned her a spot in this list of young Nigerians who would do a spanking job at ruling if given the opportunity. At 43 years-old, she stands for what she believes in and fights for it to the very end, a quality anyone who is thinking of bringing healing to Nigeria as its leader must certainly possess.

6. Bukky Shonibare

Founder of Girl Child Africa, Coordinator of Adopt-A-Camp set up to assist IDPs , CEO of 555 Consulting (HR | Strategy | Dev). She is also a fierce supporter of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. Bukky Shonibare is force to reckon with, and at 35 years-old, she is one young female under 40 we know would carry Nigeria on her shoulders to see the country reach greatness; if all those bad belle people were no longer there.


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.