In the just suspended continuous voters’ registration (CVR) exercise, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) published the number of registrants for the 2023 general elections. According to the commission, a total of 12,298,944 newly registered Nigerians had completed the exercise as of 7a.m, Monday, August 1st, 2022. 

This brings the total number of eligible voters in the country of 200 million to 96,303,028 registered voters; considering the number of registered voters from the 2019 general elections. 

But a vetting and cleaning up process of INEC’s voters registry, has claimed over a million newly registered voters. Those affected enrolled between 28th June 2021 and January 14th 2022 in order to obtain permanent voter registration cards (PVCs).

By the numbers 
Of the over 12 million newly registered Nigerians, 8,784,677 were youths, while 2,430,709 were middle-aged persons and 959,017 were elderly people. Classifying the newly registered voters by gender distribution, INEC reported 6,074,078 males and 6,224,866 females. However, there is no official report of the age group of the over a million delisted voters. 

In the 2019 general elections, Nigerian youths made up 42,938,458 of the 84,004,084 registered voters. This figure represents 51.11% of the total number of registered voters. Without considering the age group of the delisted voters, the addition of the newly registered youths to the voting population raises the sect percentage to more than half of the entire voting population. And more than the numbers in the 2019 election. 

The Big Picture 
The figures representing youths’ participation in the electoral process show that the sect is embracing the responsibility of electing the country’s next set of leaders. Many political experts believe that the 2020 #EndSARS protests were a political awakening for the country’s youth. 

Although the demonstrations centered on police brutality, youths uniformly echoed a dissatisfaction with national issues, including security, politics and economic governance.

What to watch 
Nigerian youths have the controlling number in determining next year’s presidential elections based on the registered voters released by INEC. Support for a presidential candidate by 50 – 60 percent of Nigerian youths would go a long way to determine the victor of the presidential election. 

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