•Lagos has 7,060,195 voters, Kano 5,921,370, Kaduna 4,335,208

•INEC rules out postponement, says it will not go back in the electoral calendar

The Independent National Election Commission published the final list of voters who will cast ballots in the election on Wednesday, with the North West and South West holding the lion’s share of the 93.4 million eligible voters.

Introducing the voter registration at a meeting with political party leaders at the INEC headquarters, Abuja, commission chairman Mahmood Yakubu said the number of registered youth was 37,060,399.

In November 2022, the commission published the preliminary voter registration in all 774 local government areas on its website to allow eligible voters to confirm their details, as well as for Nigerians to report ineligible people caught on the register. .

Yakubu said the commission received more than 53,000 registration objections, after which ineligible voters were removed.

It stated: “After data cleaning from the last rolling voter registration exercise, 9,518,188 new voters were added to the previous register, resulting in the preliminary registration of 93,522,272, which was submitted to Nigerians for claims. and objections as required by law. 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 register by age, citizenship or death. These names have been verified and removed from the registry.”

According to figures released by the commission, the Northwest geopolitical zone has the highest number of registered voters with 22,255,562.

As of the 2019 election, the Northwest had 20.15 million voters. However, the latest report released by INEC showed that more than 2 million new voters registered during the recently concluded rolling voter registration.

The Southwest, which in 2019 had 16,292,212 registered voters, now has 17,958,966, having added 1,666,754 new registered voters.

The Center-North, which had 13,366,070 registered voters in 2019, now has 15,363,731.

Figures from the electoral body also show that the South-South has 14,440,714 registered voters. The region had 12,841,279 registered voters in 2019.

On the other hand, the Northeast currently has 12,542,429 compared to the 11,289,293 voters it had in 2019, while the Southeast has 10,907,606 compared to the 10,057,130 registered voters it had in 2019.

By gender, surprisingly men dominate the electoral roll with 49,054,162 (52.5%) while the number of female voters stands at 44,414,846 (47.5%).

Lagos, leader of Kano

A further breakdown by state showed that Lagos has the highest number of registered voters at 7,060,195, followed by Kano at 5,921,370 and Kaduna at 4,335,208.

Others include Abia, 2,120,808; Adamawa, 2,196,566; Akwa-Ibom, 2,357,418; Anambra, 2,656,437; Bauchi, 2,749,268; Bayelsa, 1,056,862; Benue, 2,777,727; Borno, 2,513,281; river crossed 1,766,466; Delta, 3,221,697; Ebony, 1,597,646; Edo, 2,501,081; Ekiti, 987,647; Enugu, 2,112,793; FCT, 1,570,307; Gombe, 1,575,794 and Imo, 2,419,922.

Other states are Jigawa, 2,351,298; Katsina, 3,516,719; Kebi, 2,032,041; Kogi, 1,932,654; Kwara 1,695,927; Nasarawa, 1,899,244; Niger, 2,698,344; Ogun, 2,688,305; Ondo, 1,991,344; Osun, 1,954,800; Heard, 3,276,675; Plateau, 2,789,528; Rios, 3,537,190; Sokoto, 2,172,056; Taraba, 2,022,374; Yobe,1,485,146; and Zamfara, 1,926,870.

By age group, registered young people (18-34) were 37,060,399; middle age (35-49) 33,413,591; Elderly (50-69), 17,700,270; older (70+) 5,294,748.

The INEC president assured Nigerians that the commission is not contemplating postponing the general election.

Yakubu also stated that the election schedule had not changed, assuring that the elections would take place as scheduled.

He affirmed: “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 voter register has been prepared.

“In short, at no time in the commission’s recent history has so much planning and implementation been accomplished 44 days before a general election.

“Therefore, the commission does not contemplate 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 gubernatorial 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.

“As a further affirmation of the commission’s readiness to conduct the 2023 general election as scheduled, the final voter register has been compiled. You will recall that for the 2019 general election, Nigeria had a voting population of 84,004,084.

“After cleaning the data from the last rolling voter registration exercise (June 2021 – July 2022), 9,518,188 new voters were added to the previous register, resulting in the preliminary registration of 93,522,272, which it was submitted to the Nigerians for claims and objections. as required by law.

“Consequently, the voter registration for the 2023 general election is 93,469,008.”

He said that the electronic copy of the complete register would be given to each political party, adding that it was organized by state, local government, district and voting units.

The electronic copy of the breakdown and analysis will be uploaded to the INEC website and social media platforms shortly, Yakubu explained.

INEC commitments

Assuring the nation of INEC’s readiness to carry out a transparent and credible exercise, he said: “I would like to reiterate our commitment to transparent, credible and inclusive general elections in 2023.

“We will continue to take all necessary steps to protect the sanctity of the votes cast by citizens and to address violations, including the arrest and prosecution of individuals who attempt to perpetuate polling place illegality on Election Day, whether are underage voters. or vote buyers.”

Speaking on behalf of the political parties, the secretary of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee, Yusuf Dantalle, said that the political parties had resolved to cooperate with the commission to ensure a smooth electoral process.

He added: “In fact, it is a different election in the history of this country because of the new Electoral Law and, if allowed, democracy will go much further than what we had in the past. It is clear that the use of BVAS will discourage vote buying.

“We are also appealing to the political parties so that they see that power belongs to God and he will give it to whoever he pleases.”

Party leaders at the meeting include National Secretary, All Progressives Congress, Iyiola Omisore; National Chairman, Labor Party; Julio Abure; presidential candidate, Zenith Labor Party, Dan Nwanyanwu; the national president, Social Democratic Party, Shehu Gabam and the presidential candidate, Allied Popular Movement, Yusuf Dantalle.

Commenting on the record, the chairman of the Transition Monitoring Group, Auwal Rafsanjani, said the figures showed that women’s participation in politics had suffered a setback, attributing it to lack of encouragement and political violence in the country.

She added that without the participation of women at the state and national level, the issues that affect the group would be constantly undermined,

“It clearly shows how women’s participation in Nigerian politics has continued to suffer a setback. This is because of the little incentive, and also because of the political violence that, you know, many women are afraid to participate in even to register. And unfortunately, political parties have not spoken out or worked to get women members of their party to register, despite civil society efforts to mobilize women to participate.

“Without women’s participation in politics at the local, state and national levels, women’s issues will continue to be undermined, and you know that only when women participate can you have the best solution to your concern. But also, our women must try as far as possible to participate where possible, where they are not in danger.

Women’s participation

”I think it’s important that we create an atmosphere conducive to women’s participation in the political development of this country. And the only way you can really vote or be voted in is when you are registered, and we must continue to encourage women to participate.”

Speaking shortly after the list was published, the Director General of the Labor Party’s Presidential Campaign Council, Akin Osuntokun, told one of our correspondents that the situation in the country likely informed the reasons why more men than women they came out during the ongoing voter registration exercise.

“It may have to do with the worsening economic and security crises in the country. They (women) are more vulnerable to the deplorable status quo than their male counterparts,” Osuntokun said.

For his part, APGA national president Victor Oye said there was no way to know if women were losing interest in the nation’s electoral process and said “perhaps we should do a study to find out why.”

Meanwhile, the national chairman of the New Nigerian People’s Party, Ahmed Alkali, has said that the security threat for the upcoming 2023 elections is real.

Alkali made the disclosure on Wednesday while speaking to reporters at his party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.

However, he noted that the NNPP was convinced that the INEC was fully prepared to hold the general elections as scheduled.

Speaking on the alarm issued by an INEC National Commissioner, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, on the growing security challenges that could undermine the conduct of the elections, Alkali said: “We are aware that some foreign nations issued security alarms. We don’t know what they know, but they didn’t share what they know with the Federal Government; that, of course, was enough to increase the tension.

“But they should have also announced their return the way they announced their departure. However, regardless of the circumstances, there must be a new government in 2023. Therefore, both the INEC and the leadership of the political parties must work for that”.

In addition, INEC on Wednesday called on Nigerians to avoid violence and be peaceful during the upcoming elections, ensuring that they will be impartial and fair to all political parties participating in the polls.

Kwara State Resident Election Commissioner Mallam Attahiru Madami made the remarks in Ilorin, the state capital, while speaking at the 2023 annual conference of the National League of Veterans Journalists.