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Voting, by the numbers

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By Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA: Elections are essentially about numbers! Yes, human numbers. As Nigerians head to the polls tomorrow, there is a scramble for voters. The two leading candidates, incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress APC and former vice president Atiku Abubakar of the country’s main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party PDP would not just scramble for votes but would also be concentrating in getting large chunk from two geopolitical zones: the Northwest and Southwest.


Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

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Reason? Both zones have one thing in common. They have the largest number of registered voters.

The total number of registered voters is 84, 004, 084 with Lagos (in the Southwest) and Kano (in the Northwest) States having the highest number of registered voters with 6.5 million and 5.4 million respectively. Bayelsa and Ekiti States have the least number of voters with 923,181 and 909,967 respectively.

A peep into the Geopolitical Zones

While the Northwest has nearly 20 million voters, the Southwest has 16 million voters. President Buhari is from the Northwestern state of Katsina while his vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is from Ogun state, Southwestern Nigeria. Can they get a larger percentage of the people in their zones to vote for them? Only the results of the polls would show howfar they succeeded in getting their zones on their side.

The South East and North-East have the least number of voters with 10 million and 11 million respectively. While Atiku is from the Northeast, his running mate, Mr Peter Obi is from the Southeast.

Other regions include: South-South which has 12 million while North-Central has 13million registered voters.

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