The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that the youth population constitutes the greatest number of registered voters for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.

Speaking at a workshop, organised by INEC in Awka, at the weekend, with the theme: ‘Zonal Engagement With Youth Focused Groups Ahead of The 2023 General Elections,’ the National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, explained that analysis of registered voters from June 28, 2021, to July 31, 2022, by INEC, indicates dominance of young voters, stressing that the youth have numerical potentials to drive the electoral process to decide election contests.

Noting that Nigeria is a country with a growing youth population, Okoye stated: “Of more than 9.5 million Nigerians, who completed their registration process, 7.28 million or 76 per cent of new registrants, who are within 18 to 34 years of age, are young people.

“Similarly, the youth constitute 51 per cent of 84 million Nigerians, who registered for 2019 general elections. The young men and women with these statistics constitute a critical mass whose participation in public life vis-a-vis electoral space cannot be ignored.”

Okoye noted that since the demography of Nigeria has changed, and youths constitute a formidable block of this demography, politically engaged and conscious youths must assist others with lax disposition to national issues to become more focused.

He regretted that some youths are involved in election violence and election related malfeasance, insisting that election violence comes with a great socio-economic and political cost to the nation, as well as to the lives and future of youths.

Okoye also said that the 2023 general election would be technology driven, since current Electoral Act 2022 has comprehensively incorporated the use of technology in the electoral process.

He said: “Let me emphasise that the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for accreditation of voters is mandatory.”

Meanwhile, as INEC continues with distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to registered voters, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate for Onitsha North Constituency 1 in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Nwaeze Nwora, has urged Nigerians, especially youths to ensure they collect their PVCs in their respective wards.

Nwora, who fielded questions from newsmen in Onitsha, yesterday, said collection of PVCs by registered voters has become imperative to avoid being disfranchised. The APGA candidate called on his constituents to ensure they give him their support to help realise his ambition of offering good representation in the state assembly.

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