Ten out of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, recorded an impressive number in the voters’ registration exercise recently concluded by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).
The electoral umpire’s body has a total of 93,469,008 voters registered. However, only 87,209,007 of them collected their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) ahead of Saturday’s presidential and national assembly elections. Thus, only 87.2m voters will be eligible to vote.
According to the voter register, the Northwest geopolitical zone recorded the highest number with 22,255,562. The Southwest followed with 17,958,966, while the North-central recorded 15,363,731 voters. 14,440,714 registered voters made it in the South-south, while Northeast had 12,542,429 voters and Southeast recorded 10,907,606 respectively.
On a state-by-state basis, Lagos, in the Southwest zone, leads with 6.2 million voters, while Bauchi, which had 2.4 million voters, came last on the scale of one to 10.
And if the registration would amount to voting on the election day, performance of the political parties in these states will ultimately determine the outcome of the overall winner in the presidential election on Saturday.
Beginning from the lowest, they are as follows:
•Bauchi (PDP, 2.74m voters)
Bauchi, in the Northeast, has 2,749,268 voters according to INEC. It is led by Governor Bala Mohammed of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
•Benue (PDP, 2.77m voters)
With 2,777,727m registered voters in 2019, boosted its number of eligible voters through INEC’s Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) by adding 351,956 new voters. It now has 2.77m registered voters. The state is led by Governor Samuel Ortom, also of the PDP.
•Plateau (APC, 2.78m voters)
Plateau, with 2,789,528 million voters, is the only state on this list that did not make the top 10 states in 2019. Governor Simon Lalong of the APC has been in office since 2015.
•Delta (PDP, 3.22m voters)
Delta, with 3,221,697 voters, is led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the PDP vice presidential flag bearer. The oil-rich state is traditionally a PDP state, but the Labour Party and APC seem to be chipping away significantly at the incumbent party’s hold.
•Oyo (PDP, 3.27m voters)
Oyo’s eligible voters jumped from 2.93 million voters in 2019 to 3,276,675 million this year, making it number six on the list. The PDP state is governed by Governor Seyi Makinde who is seeking a second term. Makinde is one of the so-called Group of Five or G-5 governors of the PDP who are at odds with the party hierarchy.
•Rivers (PDP, 3.2m registered voters)
Rivers has the highest voting population of all the South-south states. It used to be number 4 on the list but has now been overtaken by Katsina. Rivers currently has 3,285,789 voters with Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) out of its 3.5 million registered voters, according to the latest data released by INEC yesterday. G-5 governors’ leader, Governor Nyesom Wike, has vowed to work against its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar.
•Katsina (APC, 3.45m voters)
Katsina is next on the list with 3,459,945 PVCs out of a registered population of 3,516,719 voters. It is the Northwestern state with the highest number of registered voters after Kaduna. It had 3.2 million voters in 2019. Incumbent Governor Aminu Masari is of the APC
•Kaduna (APC, 4.1m voters)
The state of the APC’s Governor Nasir El-Rufai has Nigeria’s third-highest number of eligible voters. Only 4,164,473 of its 4,335,208 registered voters have PVCs and are eligible to vote at the weekend.
•Kano (APC, 5.59m registered voters)
Kano, with a whopping 5,921,370 registered voters is the star bride for any political party in Northern Nigeria. But only 5,594,193 who collected their PVCs are eligible to vote. The state is led by Abdullahi Ganduje of the APC. Kano has an unpredictable political history, with the PDP and ANPP ruling the state since 1999 before Ganduje won office in 2015.
•Lagos (APC, 6.2m voters)
Nigeria’s economic giant, Lagos State, leads the rest of the country with a massive 7,060,195 registered voters. However, only 6,214,970 collected their PVCs. Led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who is seeking a second term, it is also the home of APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. The APC’s main challenger, PDP is expected to lose votes to the LP.
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