The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given assurance that this year’s general election will be held as scheduled.

The Commission at a meeting with Chairmen and Secretaries of registered political parties in the country, yesterday, said it has already successfully implemented 11 out of the 14 activities on its schedule for the conduct of the polls.

INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who addressed the party leaders before the closed door session, stated that the Commission has begun airlifting of Non sensitive materials to states across the country. “Already, some of the materials for 17 states in three geo-political zones have been delivered. “In short, at no time in recent history of the Commission has so much of the forward planning and implementation been accomplished 44 days ahead of a general election,” Yakubu added.

He disclosed that the last batch of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) has been received while the ongoing configuration of the critical technology in readiness for elections would soon be completed. “Therefore, the Commission is not contemplating any adjustment to the election timetable, let alone the postponement of the general election.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the presidential and National Assembly elections will be held on Saturday 25th February, 2023 while governorship and state Assembly elections will be held two weeks later on Saturday 11th March, 2023. “The repeated assurance by the security agencies for the adequate protection of our personnel, materials and processes also reinforces our determination to proceed.

“The 2023 general election will be held as scheduled. Any report to the contrary is not the official position of the Commission,” the inec boss stressed. The INEC Chairman reiterated the commitment of the Commission to conduct transparent, credible and inclusive 2023 general election.

“We will continue to take every step to protect the sanctity of the votes cast by citizens and to deal with infractions, including the arrest and prosecution of persons that attempt to perpetuate illegality at polling units on election day, be they under aged voters or vote buyers,” he warned. He disclosed that following objections from Nigerians to the prevalence of ineligible persons on the register by virtue of age, citizenship or death, 53,264 of such names have been verified and removed from the register. This according to him brought down the number of registered voters from 93,522,272earlierpresentedto Nigerians for claims and objections, to 93,469,008 eligible voters in the country. “Of this cumulative figure, 49,054,162 (52.5%) are male while 44,414,846 (47.5%) are female.

“The distribution by age group shows that 37,060,399 (39.65%) are youth between the ages of 18 and 34; 33,413,591(35.75%) are middle aged persons between the ages of 35 and 49; 17,700,270 (18.94%) are elderly voters between the ages of 50 and 69 while 5,294,748 (5.66%) are senior citizens aged 70 and above. “In terms of occupational distribution, students constitute the largest category with 26,027,481 (27.8%) of all voters, followed by 14,742,554 (15.8%) Farmers/Fishermen and 13,006,939 (13.9%) housewives,” Prof. Yakubu further disclosed. He gave the number of persons with disability as 85,362 comprising 21,150 (24.5%) persons with Albinism; 13,387 (15.7%) with physical impediment and 8,103 (9.5%) are blind. Prof. Yakubu stated that 13,868,441 Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) have been printed, delivered to states and appealed to political parties, traditional and religious leaders, to assist in sensitising people to go for collection of their PVCs. Soft copy of the register was presented to each political party at the meeting.

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