BusinessDay

2023: INEC misses 100m voters target as new registration hits 12.2m

…disowns fake online registration

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has missed the target of having 100 million voters for the 2023 general election.

This is as a total of 12.2 million new prospective voters have completed their registration at the end of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) on Sunday, July 31, 2022. The INEC CVR update for quarter four, week 16 released on Monday, August 1 has shown.

INEC on June 28, 2021, flagged off the CVR with the projection of registering 20 million new voters and having at least 100 million voters for the 2023 general election as against the 87 million that participated in the 2019 polls.

Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC chairman ahead of the commencement of the CVR, said while 14. 2 million voters were registered during the 2017/2018 CVR, the commission was projecting to register between 16 and 20 million voters in the 2021-2022 exercise.

This was reiterated by Festus Okoye, the INEC national commissioner and chairman of the information and voter education committee in an interview with BusinessDay last year.

Okoye said INEC was targeting a minimum of 20 million additional registrants in the just concluded nationwide CVR exercise to increase the total number of voters to more than 100 million in the country.

He said: “For the current exercise, the commission is targeting at least 20 million new registrants. So many of our young men and women are enthusiastic about our online registration portal and we believe that it will ease congestion in our registration centres.”

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But, as at 7am on Monday, August 1, completed registration stood at 12.2 million, out of which the online exercise accounted for 3,444,378; physical 8, 854,566, with 6,074,078 male, 6, 224,866 female; 8,784,677 youths and 87,083 people with disabilities.

Put together, the 87 million registered voters for the 2019 general election and the newly registered 12.2 million bring the total number of the would-be voters in the 2023 elections to 99.2 million.

Meanwhile, INEC said barely 24 hours after the suspension of voter registration, its attention has been drawn to an online site urging Nigerians to enrol for “VOTER CARD (PVC)” registration claiming that the Federal Government has approved individual VOTER CARD (PVC) registration online to avoid unnecessary crowd in the “NIMC” CENTERS.

The commission in a statement signed by Okoye on Monday, said the site was not linked to INEC and the portal is spurious and from a dubious source.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission is the only body constitutionally and legally mandated to conduct the registration of persons qualified to vote in any election in Nigeria and to update and revise the register when the need arises.

“The commission is solely responsible for organising, undertaking, and supervising national elections in the country and does not share this responsibility with anybody or organisation.

“Members of the public are strongly advised not to succumb to the antics of online scammers and should avoid such fake sites.

“The commission has concluded the continuous voter registration exercise nationwide and does not need to open an additional site or portal for the purposes of registration of voters,” the statement added.

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