THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday forecast a voter population of around 95 million for the country’s 2023 general election.

INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said this during an election security management training in Abuja organized by the Nigerian police for its agents and other security personnel ahead of the 2023 general election.

The figure, Yakubu said, was 20 million higher than the combined voter population of the other 14 West African countries in the subregion.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Yakubu said the election preparations, deployment and implementation represented the most comprehensive mobilization that could take place in a country, both in peacetime and in wartime.

He said: “In Nigeria, it involves recruiting and training staff and managing the logistics for their deployment at 176,846 polling stations across 8,809 constituencies, 774 local areas and 37 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“It also involves an expected voter population of about 95 million for the 2023 general election, which is more than 20 million more than the combined voter population of the other 14 countries in West Africa.

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“Voters will also elect candidates for 1,491 constituencies (one presidential constituency, 28 gubernatorial elections, 109 senatorial districts, 360 federal constituencies, and 993 state assembly seats).”

The INEC chairman said ensuring the safety and security of voters, election personnel and equipment, candidates, party agents, observers, the media and transporters was paramount.

He said the responsibility has become more challenging in the context of the current security situation in the country.

He expressed his delight that the police, as the lead agency in the field of election security, had again shown their leadership role by convening the workshop.

Yakubu added that with about seven months until the general election, there was time for proactive measures to ensure the entire country was safe for elections to be held nationwide.

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He expressed confidence that the workshop would also focus on increasing the capacity of security personnel to absorb the global standard of election security management.

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He said: “The commission, under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), has already prepared and periodically reviewed the code of conduct and rules for deploying electoral security personnel.

“Over the coming weeks, the Code of Conduct and our training manuals will be revised to align with the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act.

“And to consolidate the professionalism of the security services in the recent off-cycle elections.

“We will also step up our cascade training for security personnel ahead of the 2023 general election,” he said.

Yakubu assured the Inspector General of Police, heads of other security services and all members of ICCES that INEC would continue to work in synergy with them to ensure a safe and secure environment for the 2023 general election. and we must all continue to work together to protect the will of the Nigerian people.

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