The South-South region of Nigeria has the most number of new people who have completed the ongoing continuous voter’s registration (CVR) exercise being undertaken by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Latest data from INEC shows that there have been10.235 million fresh registrants since the exercise began last year out of which 6.544 million people have completed the process as at 30th May 2022.
MoneyCentral decided to analyse the INEC data on completed registrations which is a proxy for voter enthusiasm for the upcoming polls.
The data shows that the South-South (SS) region comprising Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Akwa-Ibom and Cross Rivers is leading the pack with 1.52 million new voters who have completed the CVR process.
The top state from the region is Delta state with 327,852 new voters, followed by Bayelsa with 326,450 new voters.
The next region with the most number of new voters is the South West (SW) with 1.235 million people who have completed the CVR exercise.
Osun state leads in the region with 360,625 new voters, followed by Lagos with 247,242 new voters.
This is followed by the North West (NW) region which is the only region in Nigeria with 7 states.
In the NW there have been 1.223 million new people who have completed the CVR exercise with Kano state the top region in the state with 290,179 new voters, followed by Kaduna with 219,659.
Next is the North Central (NC) region where 1.174 million people have completed the CVR exercise, with Kogi state the top state in the region with 237,615 million people, followed by Kwara at 233,253.
The North East (NE) region long hobbled by insurgency attacks that have left many displaced is next with 836,204 people completing the CVR exercise. The top state in the region is Bauchi with 197,100 new voters followed by Borno with 139,534 people. Adamawa comes in slightly behind at 139,271.
The South East is bottom of the pile (at the moment) with 550,771 people completing the CVR exercise. The top state in the region is Anambra with 158,770 new voters, followed by Abia at 133,115.
The ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise which began in June 2021 will end by 30th June 2022.
Male people made up 3.253 million of the new registered voters, compared to 3.290 million females and 53,663 people with disabilities.
Youths were a majority with 4.550 million new voters, representing 69.52 percent, with the majority of them students, business persons and housewives, according to the INEC data.
This implies that the number of registered voters has risen from 84,004,084 in 2019 to about 90.548 million today.
In the 2019 elections only about 26 million voters showed up at the polls representing about 31 percent participation ratio.
Meanwhile the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has set a June 17th, 2022 deadline for presidential candidates including Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of Labor Party (LP) and Bola Tinubu of All Progressives Congress (APC), to name their running mates.
INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said this in a statement on the commission’s social media pages.
“Similarly, the list of all Presidential and Governorship candidates must be accompanied by the names of their running mates (i.e. Vice Presidential and Deputy Governorship candidates) without which the nomination is invalid,” the INEC chairman read.
“All nominations must be uploaded to the portal on/or before the deadlines. The portal will automatically shut down at 6.00 pm (1800hrs) on Friday 17th June 2022 for national elections and 6.00 pm (1800hrs) on Friday 15th July 2022 for State elections.”
As of the time of publishing this report, no leading candidate for the presidential election has named their running mate.
While the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag bearer Atiku Abubakar is expected to name a running mate from the southern regions of the country, his rival in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu is expected to pick a northerner as his vice-presidential candidate.
For Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) candidate, being from the southern region of Nigeria, analysts believe his running mate will be from the northern part of the country.
Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has also not named his running mate. The former governor of Kano State is believed to be contemplating picking the party’s vice-presidential candidate from the south of Nigeria.
As consultations and permutations continue over who the presidential candidates, especially from the major parties, will pick as running mates, debates over whether Tinubu will choose a Muslim as the vice-presidential candidate has heightened in the wake of his triumph at the APC convention.
Although some observers believe a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the former Lagos State governor is not an issue and argue that religion should not be a criterion for political offices, critics say the multi-religious nature of Nigeria makes such an idea dead on arrival.
One of those against a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket is Babachir Lawal.
The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) maintains that the peculiarities of the Nigerian political environment do not favour such.
“You can have the best ticket but if you don’t win the election, it’s a waste of time. So, we must bear in mind that the vice (presidential candidate) is going to contribute to winning that election,” he said.
“Extending that consideration to the Muslim-Muslim ticket, I live among the Christians, and I know that among the Christians, the question of Muslim-Muslim ticket is a no-go area; it is dead on arrival, Lawal said.
“Buhari himself, even at that time, had to drop this present presidential candidate because of that tension of a Muslim-Muslim ticket, and we have not seen anything in the country that has changed significantly to allow that to happen. On the contrary, it has worsened.”
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has also warned the leading political parties to avoid the thought of Christian/Christian or Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket in 2023.
CAN’s National Secretary, Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola, said on Friday in Abuja that such development is a threat to the fragile peace and unity of Nigeria.
“To those arguing that people do not care about the religions of their leaders once they are competent and credible, we dare APC to pick its Presidential running mate from the south and PDP pick its own from the north and see what follows,” Daramola said.