The number of fresh voters registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the ongoing registration currently stands at 10,487,972, the commission said on Monday.

The commission gave the figure in its update for Week 11 in the Fourth Quarter sent to Journalists in Abuja.

According to the short document, the number of completed registration stood at 8,631,696 (online – 3,250,449 and physical – 5,381,247).

There are 4,292,690 males, 4,339,006 females, 67,171 PWDs and 6,081,456 youths.

Meanwhile, the commission said Nigeria currently has a voting population of 84 million registered voters which is 11 million voters more than all registered voters of 14 other countries in the West African and Sahel region

While explaining the importance of Nigeria to the development of democratic process including elections in West Africa and African continent generally, the commission said the combined total number of registered voters in the remaining 14 countries in West Africa and the Sahel stood at 73 million, which is 11 million less than Nigeria’s 84 million registered voters.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated these in Abuja on Monday during a courtesy call on him by special representatives of the United Nations Secretary-General, led by the Head of the UN Office in West Africa and the Sahel region.

According to him, INEC was aware of the strategic importance of Nigeria in the region and the need to have stability, peace through free, fair and credible elections.

He told his guests that the figure depicted the enormity of the commission’s responsibilities and why the commission was always ready to work with agencies and nations in the international community to ensure the delivery of credible elections in the country.

Yakubu said INEC “will do what is right on the basis of the law while the ultimate choice will be made by Nigerians on who they will vote”.

He assured the visitors that the commission “will continue to consolidate on achievements recorded so far to make sure elections get better and better with each round of election.”

While appreciating the visitors for their interest and concern for the Nigerian democratic process, he said INEC had been collaborating with agencies like the United Nations Development Programme while he commended the UN Needs Assessment Mission to Nigeria.

The Head of the delegation and Head of the UN Office in West Africa and the Sahel, Ahmad Saleh Annadif, assured INEC of continuous support to further deepen Nigeria’s democracy.

He said Nigeria, by virtue of its population, cannot be ignored in the West African region, adding that as the most populous black nation, peace and stability in the region largely depends on stability of Nigeria.

Annadif said the UN would ensure there was free and credible election in Nigeria.

“We are here because Nigeria will hold election next year. There are indications that peace and stability in the region largely depend on peace in Nigeria”, he said.

He congratulated Nigeria for the successful conduct of party primaries across parties and expressed joy that candidates of parties have emerged peacefully.

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