Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has said available data indicates that Nigeria has 16.7 million more voters than the rest of West Africa.
Yakubu made the revelation on Tuesday afternoon, while delivering a lecture at London-based Chatham House on the topic ‘Nigeria’s 2023 Elections: Preparations and Priorities for Electoral Integrity and Inclusion’.
“Based on figures compiled from electoral commissions and interior ministries in West Africa, Nigeria’s current voter population is 16.7 million higher than the 76.7 million registered in all the other countries put together – and there are 14 other elections in the sub-region.
“This means that a general election in Nigeria is like conducting an election in the whole of West Africa and beyond,” he said.
Yakubu dismissed any speculation of plans to put off the elections scheduled for February 25th and March 11th, saying INEC is not contemplating let alone planning to postponing the 2023 general elections.
“We are going ahead to conduct the election as scheduled,” he said, adding that though there are “tremendous” challenges and expectations of INEC, the Commission was a beneficiary of “enormous” goodwill in Nigeria and beyond.
“We can surmount the challenges and ensure elections continue to get better,” the INEC chairman said.
Early choice of election technology management tools, especially the main election technology, is very critical for success, according to him.
“We know that political actors often try to undermine the process by attacking the technology, casting doubts on its suitability, bypassing its use or indeed seeking to undermine its security.
“This informed the early choice of a new voter accreditation technology, using an electronic device called Bimordal Voter Accreditation System,” he said.