He said that more than ever before, the commission was more prepared for the 2023 general elections and had now successfully implemented 11 of the 14 activities scheduled for the elections.
“Substantial amounts of sensitive and non-sensitive materials have already been deployed in various locations across 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. In addition, 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 cards as provided by law.
He added that in the same way, 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.”
Regarding the registered voter, Yakubu said that after cleaning the data from the last Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) from June 2021 to July 2022, where 9,518,188 new voters were added to the 84,004,084 existing voters, the preliminary voter registration was 93,522,272.
He said that when the register was submitted to Nigerians for complaints and objections as required by law, INEC received 53,264 objections from Nigerians on the prevalence of people ineligible on the register by virtue of age, citizenship or death, which were verified and removed from the registry.
“Consequently, the voter registry for the 2023 General Elections amounts to 93,469,008. Of this accumulated figure, 49,054,162 (52.5%) are men while 44,414,846 (47.5%) are women.
“The distribution by age groups shows that 37,060,399 (39.65%) are young people between 18 and 34 years old; 33,413,591 (35.75%) are middle-aged people between 35 and 49 years old;
“17,700,270 (18.94 percent) are older voters between the ages of 50 and 69, while 5,294,748 (5.66%) are seniors 70 years of age or older.
“In terms of occupational distribution, students make up the largest category with 26,027,481 (27.8%) of all voters, followed by 14,742,554 (15.8%) farmers/fishermen and 13,006,939 (13, 9%) housewives.
“Disability data was not collected for prior registration. However, the cumulative figure of 85,362 people from the recent CVR indicates that there are 21,150 (24.5%) people with Albinism; 13,387 (15.7 percent) with a physical handicap and 8,103 (9.5 percent) blind.”
Yakubu said that the electronic copy of the breakdown and analysis will be uploaded to the INEC website and social media platforms shortly.
He reiterated INEC’s commitment to the transparent, credible and inclusive general elections of 2023 and said that INEC would continue to take all necessary measures to protect the sanctity of the votes cast by citizens and address violations.
This, according to Yakubu, includes the arrest and prosecution of people who try to perpetuate illegality in the Voting Units on election day, whether they are underage voters or vote buyers.
On the collection of PVC in 8,809 registration areas/districts across the country, Yakubu said that the collection locations can be identified by sending a short text message to either of the two dedicated phone lines.
In his response, IPAC President, Yabagui Sani praised INEC’s efforts to ensure that power is transferred peacefully in the country; despite the challenges and plots of anti-democratic agents to truncate the process.
Sani, who was represented by the Secretary General of IPAC, Yusuf Dantalle He said that the political parties were determined to guarantee their support to the INEC, the security organizations and the traditional rulers for the peaceful conduct of the 2023 general elections.
He said party leaders relied on INEC technology for the election, including BVAS and IReV for electronic transmission of the result.
Sani said that the deployment of the technology would discourage vote buying and situations where people write the election results from their rooms and ask INEC officials to declare it so that people go to court.
“It proves that so much effort is being made to ensure this doesn’t work, but we are equally appealing to the leaders of the political parties in the country to see that the power belongs to God and He gives it to whoever He wants.
“We will do the best we can, but political leaders must move the country forward. We’re not under intense pressure like we don’t want this democracy or this election won’t succeed.”
NAN reports that Lagos has the highest number of voters with 7,060,195, followed by Kano State with 5,921,370 and Kaduna with 4,335,208 registered voters.
Ekiti State has the fewest registered voters with 987,647, followed by Bayelsa with 1,056,862 and Yobe with 1,485,146 registered voters.