The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the 2023 elections belong to young people who make up the bulk of the voting population.
INEC’s Chairman Mahmood Yakubu made the comment at Chatham House, UK on Tuesday while giving a breakdown of the voters’ register ahead of the polls.
“We have 93.4 million registered voters of which 37 million, that is 39.5 percent, are young people between the ages of 18 and 34. Then, there are closely followed by 33.4 million or 36.75 percent middle age voters between 35 and 49. Put together, these two categories constitute 75.39 percent of registered voters in Nigeria,” he said while speaking on ‘Nigeria’s 2023 Elections: Preparations and Priorities for Electoral Integrity and Inclusion’.
“Actually, the 2023 election is the election of the young people because they have the numbers. Even the majority of the PVCs collected are collected by young people. So, out of the 93.4 million registered voters, 70.4 million are between the ages of 18 and 49.”
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The INEC chief had in late December said 9,518,188 new voters were added to the voters’ register following the Commission’s voter registration exercise.
That number, he said, was largely driven up by the enthusiasm of young people and the electoral umpire’s deployment of technology in the registration process.
“We believe that the enthusiasm, especially among young people, was partly responsible for this surge but they are also motivated by the innovation of online pre-registration introduced by the Commission,” the INEC boss added.
“For the first time, we introduced the online pre-registration of voters where citizens can commence the process online but they have to go to the physical or designated registration centres to complete the process.”
This, he said, is a pointer to the Commission’s drive to deepen the deployment of technology in the conduct of elections and other activities. These innovations, he explained, are driven by INEC staff who are even mulling the usage of body odour as a new biometric system.
He will be replaced by his assistant Cristian Stellini until the end of the season.
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