The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said there are 95 million registered voters for 2023 election.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who spoke at an event organised by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) at the NED Headquarters, Washington DC, United States of America, revealed that Nigeria now has 22 million more voters than the whole of West Africa put together.
Mahmood also said INEC has introduced innovations to increase transparency and ensure credibility of the electoral process.
“There are 18 political parties in the race to produce the next President to be elected by 95 million voters. We had over 84 million registered voters in 2019. But with the last Continuous Registration of Voters (CVR), we are going to add at least 10 million Nigerians and that will take the Register of Voters to 95 million.
“The election is significant because the incumbent President is not eligible to run, this being his second and final term.
“I say this and I won’t be tired of saying it to an audience like this: In West Africa, there are 15 countries including Nigeria. But the total number of registered voters in the 14 countries combined is 73 million. In Nigeria, it’s going to be 95 million.
“So, there will be 22 million more voters in Nigeria than the whole of West Africa put together. Each time Nigeria goes to the polls, it’s like the whole of West Africa voting. And these 95 million citizens will vote in 176, 846 polling units.
“Beyond the presidential election, governorship elections will also hold in 28 out of the 36 states of the country. In eight states, elections are held off season but there will also be elections for all 109 Senatorial districts in the country, 360 Federal constituencies, 993 state constituencies and the Presidential, making a total of 1,491 constituencies for which 18 political parties are sponsoring 12,163 candidates.
“Their names, ages, disability status, academic qualifications, the party they are representing, the constituency they are contesting in are all on our website for both the national and state elections.
“The timetable released by the Commission in February this year identified 14 critical activities to be accomplished by the Commission leading to the election day. So far, nine out of the 14 activities have been successfully accomplished and campaign by political parties and candidates has commenced nationwide.
“We learnt a lot of lessons from the general election conducted in 2015 and 2019 as well as the 103 off cycle elections and bye-elections since the 2019 general elections. We have introduced innovations to increase transparency and ensure credibility of the electoral process.
“The new Electoral Act with its many progressive provisions has provided legal backing to the innovations. On this note, I’ll like to appreciate the civil society organisations and other stakeholders for the intense advocacy leading to the passage of the new law.”