According to information obtained by The PUNCH, Nigeria’s overall number of registered voters may have increased from 84 million to 96.2 million.
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission’s most recent voter figures, 12.2 million people registered to vote during the Continuous Voter Registration period, which ended on Sunday.
The North-West geopolitical zone, which includes the seven states of Sokoto, Zamfara, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, and Jigawa, has the highest number of registered voters, according to INEC, with a total of 22.67 million voters.
The North-West had 20.15 million registered voters as of the 2019 elections.
However, according to the most recent information made public by INEC, 2.5 million additional voters registered during the just-completed continuous voter registration period, increasing the total number of registered voters in the zone to 22.67 million.
With the addition of 2, 039, 982 new registered voters, the South-West, which had 16.29 million voters at the time, now has 18.3 million.
Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, and Ondo are included in the zone.
The South-South region, which includes the states of Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, Edo, and Delta, is in third place.
The zone now has 15.2 million registered voters, an increase from 12.8 million.
While the North-East, which consists of Yobe, Borno, Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi, and Gombe, added 1.5 million new voters to reach 12.8 million registered voters, the North-Central, which includes Nasarawa, Kogi, Benue, Niger, Kwara, and Plateau, now has 14.1 million voters.
There are now 11.49 million registered voters in the South-East, the smallest geopolitical zone, which includes the states of Ebonyi, Enugu, Abia, Anambra, and Imo. In contrast, there are now 1.5 million more registered voters in the Federal Capital Territory.
Lagos increased its number of registered voters from 6.5 million to 7.1 million, maintaining its title as the state with the most.
Kano State, which now has 6.02 million registered voters, has kept its second-place ranking.
Rivers State has already surpassed Katsina as the fourth-largest state in terms of votes, while Kaduna State now has 4.4 million registered voters.
Katsina currently has 3.57 million voters, compared to 3.68 million in Rivers.
Delta (3.3 million) and Oyo are two more states with a sizable number of registered voters (3.3 million)
Additionally, despite increasing from 909, 967 to 1, 034, 911 registered voters, Ekiti maintained its ranking as the state with the fewest voters.
Young people make up 71% of new votes, and women outweigh men.
A breakdown of INEC’s findings also revealed that young people make up around 71% of the newly registered voters.
Approximately 8.7 million of the 12.2 million newly registered voters are between the ages of 18 and 34, while 2.4 million are between the ages of 35 and 49.
About 856 017 people are 50 to 69 years old, while 127 541 people are above 70.
Additionally, according to the figures, more women than men registered during the most recent CVR.
There are 6,224,866 women and 6,074,078 men.
The National Commissioner and Chairman of the Board of The Electoral Institute, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, stated that young people and women made up the majority of voters while speaking at the post-election training audit for the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun on Monday in Abuja.
According to political expert Dr. Busari Dauda, “It is not strange. I think we have people who have matured to 18 years and are ready to exercise their franchise. It portends a positive outcome for the country. It is also a signal that in the subsequent general elections, they would decide who they want as leaders in the country as well take over the affairs of the country at the national level and the recycling will stop and someone much younger will one day become the president.
The recently concluded Osun State election, which resulted in the defeat of an incumbent governor, was cited by analyst Dare Atoye-Ariyo, who is also the convener of the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, as evidence that young people are now turning their online fervor into votes.
“And that’s exactly what we saw in the Osun State governorship elections, ahead of the 2023 elections, there is a possibility that a good number of the new people who have registered this time around are going to vote,” he said.
The majority of newly registered voters were young people, which Atoye-Ariyo claimed indicated a reawakening.