2023: Youths Leads Voting Population For February Polls – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has revealed that youths contribute the highest number of registered voters who will cast votes in the 2023 general election.

The National Commissioner of INEC in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, stated this in Awka, on Saturday, during the Commission’s engagement with identified groups on the roles of the youth ahead of the 2023 general election.

Okoye said from the electoral umpire’s records, the youth hold the ace for the determination of the outcome of the 2023 elections.

He said out of a total of 9,518,756 valid newly registered voters between June 28, 2021, and July 31, 2022, those aged between 18 and 34 years old were 7,286,871 representing 76.56 per cent.

Disclosing further that the total of registered voters for the 2023 general election is 93.5 million, Okoye said that of the 84 million registered voters recorded for the 2019 general election, the youth population which included males and females was 51 per cent.

He, however, urged the youths to ensure that they cast their votes on election day, emphasising that it is only when they cast their votes that they can determine who emerged as leaders.

He explained that the 2023 electoral processes would be strictly technology-driven, adding that the Commission had already deployed technology in all its processes.

He said, “The Commission had already taken delivery of the full number of the Bimodal Voter’s Accreditation System, for the conduct of the election in the 176,846 polling units across the federation. Additional BVAS for contingencies would be deployed to the 8,809 registration areas across the country.

“The BVAS were designed to function offline, and, that only accredited voters would be allowed to cast votes on the day of the polls.

“Only registered voters who present their Permanent Voters Cards, at the polling unit would be accredited to vote.

“Over 1.4 million ad-hoc election staff had been engaged by the Commission for the conduct of the 2023 general election, and insurance police had been secured for them against hazards of the election, especially possible attack.

“Punishment for any act of electoral offence against electoral officers have been made stiffer in the current 2022 Electoral Act (as amended) than the provisions in the previous 2010 Electoral Act (as amended).”

He, therefore, advised any ad-hoc staff who might not be ready to resist the temptations of election rigging antics to withdraw from conducting the exercise.

Earlier, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in charge of Anambra state, Dr Mrs Queen Elizabeth Agwu, urged the youths to brace up for the challenges of ensuring that the election was conducted free of thuggery and any other electoral malpractices.