Nigeria’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has projected a voter population of about 95 million people ahead of the 2023 General Election in the country.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made this projection on Thursday while speaking at an election security management training in Abuja by the Nigeria Police Force for the police and other security personnel ahead of the 2023 General Election.
The figure, Yakubu revealed was 20 million higher than the combined voter population of the 14 other West African countries in the sub-region.
He pointed out that the election preparations, deployment, and implementation constituted the most extensive mobilisation that could happen in a country, whether in peacetime or wartime.
‘In Nigeria, it involves the recruitment and training of staff and managing the logistics for their deployment to 176,846 polling units spread across 8,809 electoral wards, 774 local areas, and 37 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).’
‘It also involves a projected voter population of about 95 million for the 2023 general election, which is over 20 million more than the combined voter population of the other 14 countries in West Africa.
‘Voters will also elect candidates for 1,491 constituencies (1 presidential constituency, 28 governorship elections, 109 senatorial districts, 360 federal Constituencies and 993 state assembly seats),’ Yakubu said.
The INEC chairman said that ensuring the safety and security of voters, election personnel and materials, candidates, party agents, observers, the media and transporters was paramount.
He said that the responsibility had become more challenging in the context of the current security situation in the country.
He expressed gladness that the police as the lead agency in election security had once again demonstrated its leadership role by convening the workshop.
Yakubu said that with about seven months to the general election, there was time for proactive measures to ensure that the entire country was secured for election to hold nationwide.
He expressed confidence that the workshop would also focus on deepening the capacity of the security personnel to imbibe the global standard of election security management.