The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that it registered 93,469,008 voters for the 2023 general elections.
This even though the Commission stressed that it was not contemplating any adjustment in the electoral calendar, much less the postponement of the general elections.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission reiterated that the presidential and National Assembly elections will take place on Saturday, February 25, 2023, while the Governor and State Assembly elections will take place two weeks later, on Saturday, March 11. of 2023.
He stressed that the repeated assurances by security agencies of the adequate protection of INEC personnel, materials and processes also reinforced their determination to proceed, adding that the 2023 general elections will take place as scheduled.
The electoral body, however, said that any report to the contrary was not the official position of the Commission.
The nation’s electoral body announced that after debugging its data from the last Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise (June 2021 – July 2022), 9,518,188 new voters were incorporated into the previous register, resulting in the draft of 93,522,272, which was submitted to Nigerians for complaints and objections as required by law.
However, at the end of the citizen’s complaint and objection period, the Commission said it had received 53,264 objections from Nigerians about the prevalence of people ineligible on the register by virtue of their age, citizenship, or death.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, revealed this at the presentation of the National Register of Voters to Political Parties on Wednesday.
Yakubu said all 53,264 names have been verified and removed from the registry.
Consequently, the president of INEC said that the final list of registered voters is 93,469,008.
Of this accumulated figure, he said that 49,054,162 (52.5 percent) are men while 44,414,846 (47.5 percent) are women.
According to him, the distribution by age groups shows that 37,060,399 (39.65 percent) are young people between 18 and 34 years of age; 33,413,591 (35.75%) are middle-aged people between 35 and 49 years old; 17,700,270 (18.94%) are older voters between the ages of 50 and 69, while 5,294,748 (5.66%) are seniors aged 70 or older.
He said: “In terms of occupational distribution, students make up the largest category with 26,027,481 (27.8 percent) of all voters, followed by 14,742,554 (15.8 percent) farmers/fishermen and 13,006. 939 (13.9 percent) housewives”.
He recalled that the disability data was not collected for the previous registry, however, he said that the accumulated figure of 85,362 people from the recent CVR indicates that there are 21,150 (24.5%) people with Albinism; 13,387 (15.7%) with a physical handicap and 8,103 (9.5%) blind.
He said that the digital copy of the complete record will be delivered to each political party.
“It is organized by the State, the Local Government, the District and the Voting Unit. It is also the same registry that will be used on Election Day. Attached to your folders for this meeting are hard copies of the breakdown of registration by States of the Federation and analysis by gender, age group, occupation and disability.
“The digital copy of the breakdown and analysis will be uploaded to our website and social media platforms shortly.
“I would like to reiterate our commitment to the transparent, credible and inclusive general elections of 2023.
“We will continue to take all steps to protect the sanctity of citizen ballots and to address violations, including the arrest and prosecution of individuals attempting to perpetuate polling place illegality on Election Day, whether underage voters or vote buyers. ”, he added.
He also praised the patience of Nigerians who have been queuing at designated centers to collect the PVCs.
To make it easier, he said the Commission returned the collection to the 8,809 Recording Areas/Districts across the country.
“We have also uploaded the complete list of Ward’s collection centers across the country on our website. Locations can also be identified by sending a short text message to either of the two dedicated phone lines. Details are also available on the Commission’s website,” she said.
With only 44 days to go before the 2023 General Election, he reiterated that the election campaigns are in full swing after his nomination of candidates for the 1,491 constituencies for which elections will be held this year.
“As you are no doubt aware, the presidential election, as well as elections for 109 senatorial districts and 360 federal electoral districts, will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2023.
“Two weeks later, on Saturday, March 11, 2023, the gubernatorial elections will be held in 28 states of the Federation and the 993 constituencies of the state Assembly,” he said.
He also praised the presidents and leaders of the political parties for their continued engagement with the Commission in particular and Nigerians in general on critical election issues.
“I want to assure you that by working together, we will uphold the tradition of regular consultative meetings with political parties and other critical stakeholders,” he said.
He recalled that on February 26, 2022, the Commission published the Schedule and Calendar of Activities for the 2023 General Elections.
Since then, he said, the Commission has been relentlessly implementing the 14 step-by-step activities listed in the Calendar.
He said, “Some of the major activities include holding primaries by political parties, nominating candidates, publishing the list of candidates, and starting the campaign by political parties.
“By presenting voter registration to political parties at this meeting, the Commission has successfully implemented 11 of the 14 scheduled activities. In addition, the implementation of other activities has proceeded in earnest.”
Already, he said, substantial amounts of sensitive and non-sensitive materials have been deployed in various locations around the country.
“The latest batch of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) has been received, while the ongoing configuration of critical technology in preparation for the elections will soon be completed.
“In the last two days, we have begun airlifting other sensitive materials to states across the country. Some of the materials have already been delivered to 17 states in three geopolitical zones,” he said.
Likewise, he said that 13,868,441 Permanent Voter Credentials (PVC) have been printed, delivered to the States and are being collected by citizens as new voters or by existing voters who requested transfer or replacement of identification cards as provided by law.
In the same way, he said that after the exhibition of the electoral register at the national level and the conclusion of the claims and objections of the citizens, a new national register of voters has been prepared.
“In short, at no time in the Commission’s recent history has so much of advance planning and implementation been accomplished 44 days before the General Election.
“Therefore, the Commission is not contemplating any adjustment to the electoral schedule, much less the postponement of the General Elections. For the avoidance of doubt, the presidential and National Assembly elections will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2023, while the Governor and State Assembly elections will be held two weeks later, on Saturday, March 11, 2023.
“The repeated assurance by security agencies of the adequate protection of our personnel, materials and processes also reinforces our determination to proceed. The 2023 general election will take place as scheduled. Any report to the contrary is not the official position of the Commission.”
He recalled that for the 2019 General Election, Nigeria had a voting population of 84,004,084.
“After cleaning the data from the last Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise (June 2021 – July 2022), 9,518,188 new voters were added to the previous registry, resulting in the preliminary registration of 93,522. 272 which was submitted to Nigerians for claims and objections required by law.
“At the end of the citizen complaint and objection period, the Commission received 53,264 objections from Nigerians about the prevalence of people ineligible on the registry by virtue of their age, citizenship, or death. These names have been verified and removed from the registry.”
Speaking further, he commended political parties, Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) leadership, civil society organisations, development partners, traditional, religious and community leaders for their partnership and support in encouraging Nigerians to register and collect your PVC.
“The best way to reciprocate this support and the tenacious determination of Nigerians to vote is to ensure transparent elections next month. This remains our stated commitment to the people of Nigeria,” he said.
He assesses that a further affirmation of the Commission’s readiness to conduct the 2023 General Election as scheduled was the final voter registration that was compiled.