• Lagos tops list of INEC 93m voters
• 39.65% are Youths
• Perish thought of election postponement, Yakubu urges Nigerians
“the Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on Saturday 25th February 2023 while”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that a total number of 93,469,008 eligible voters would participate in February and March general elections.
The presidential and National Assemblies elections will hold on February 25, in 36 states, the Federal Capital Territory, 109 senatorial districts and 360 federal constituencies.
The governorship and state assemblies would be conducted in 28 states and 993 State assemblies on March 11, 2023.
Chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu made the disclosure on Wednesday while presenting the voters register to the leadership of the 18 political parties fielding candidates in the general elections.
Nigerians Tribune checks revealed that South-West state of Lagos tops the statistics with a voting population of 7,060,195, followed by North West state of Kano with 5,921,370 and another fNorth West state, Kaduna with 4,335,208 voting population.
Rivers State in the South-South geo-political zone takes the fourth position in the voters distribution with 3,537,190 voting population.
Further checks revealed that age group between the ages of 18 and 34 constitutes the largest voting population with 37,060,399, which is 39.65% of the eligible voters, trailed by middle-aged persons between the ages of 35 and 49 which has 33,413,591, 35.75% of eligible voters for 2023 elections.
Giving a further breakdown, the INEC Chairman disclosed that gender distribution revealed that males would constitute 52.5% of the Voters with 49,054, 162 and females with 44,414,846, which is 47.6% of the eligible registrants and voters in forthcoming general elections.
He said: “Of this cumulative figure, 49,054,162 (52.5%) are male while 44,414,846 (47.5%) are female.
“The distribution by age group shows that 37,060,399 (39.65%) are youth between the ages of 18 and 34; 33,413,591 (35.75%) are middle aged persons between the ages of 35 and 49; 17,700,270 (18.94%) are elderly voters between the ages of 50 and 69 while 5,294,748 (5.66%) are senior citizens aged 70 and above.
“In terms of occupational distribution, students constitute 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.
“The data on disability was not collected for previous registration. However, the cumulative figure of 85,362 persons from the recent CVR indicates that there are 21,150 (24.5%) persons with Albinism; 13,387 (15.7%) with physical impediment and 8,103 (9.5%) are blind.”
In apparent reaction to recent remarks attributed to INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of the Board of the Electoral Institute, Professor Abdullahi Zuru, that the general elections could be postponed as a result of security challenges, Professor Yakubu dismissed it as misplaced.
He maintained that all the elections slated for February and March would be conducted as scheduled.
“In short, at no time in the recent history of the Commission has so much of the forward planning and implementation been accomplished 44 days ahead of a General Election.
“Therefore, the Commission is not contemplating any adjustment to the election timetable, let alone the postponement of the General Election. For the avoidance of doubt, the Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on Saturday 25th February 2023 while Governorship and State Assembly elections will hold two weeks later on Saturday 11th March 2023.
“The repeated assurance by the security agencies for the adequate protection of our personnel, materials and processes also reinforces our determination to proceed. The 2023 General Election will hold as scheduled. “Any report to the contrary is not the official position of the Commission,” he said.
Professor Yakubu told the gathering of his National Commissioners, the leadership of the 18 political parties and journalists that “with the presentation of the register of voters to political parties at this meeting, the Commission has now successfully implemented 11 out of the 14 activities on schedule. Furthermore, the implementation of other activities has proceeded in earnest”.
Giving further updates on logistics for the election, the INEC Chairman said “substantial quantities of sensitive and non-sensitive materials have been deployed to various locations across the country.
“The last batch of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) has been received while the ongoing configuration of the critical technology in readiness for elections will soon be completed”.
He revealed that his Commission would soon commence airlifting other sensitive materials to States across the country.
“Already, some of the materials for 17 States in three geo-political zones have been delivered.
“Furthermore, 13,868,441 Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) have been printed, delivered to States and are being collected by citizens as new voters or by existing voters who applied for transfer or replacement of cards as provided by law.
“Similarly, following the display of the voters’ register nationwide and the conclusion of claims and objections by citizens, a new national register of voters has been compiled.”
In his remarks, Secretary of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, Yusuf Dantale, who spoke on behalf of other political parties assured the electoral body of cooperation ahead of the scheduled elections.
He said: “Political parties have resolved to cooperate with the Commission to ensure smooth conduct of the elections.
“We will ensure that this election doesn’t fail. We are hopeful that the innovations introduced if allowed to work will discourage vote buying and people writing results from their comfort zones.
“We must ensure that this democracy work. Every country looks up to Nigeria to get things right. Political leaders should work with security agencies and community leaders to ensure peaceful elections.”