igeria’s Presidential contest set for February by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has arguably been described as the World’s most important election, after 24 years of unbroken democracy.
The country faces multifaceted challenges including corruption, high rate of unemployment, insecurity and inflation and many view the election as an opportunity to change the trajectory of the country, which will have a ripple effect on the continent.
President of the National Endowment for Democracy Damon Wilson, noted that currently the fifth largest democracy in the world and the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria is on the path to becoming the second largest democracy in the world.
“What happens here matters; it first of all matters to Nigerians but it can have a real impact on the pathway to the development of democracy in West Africa, across Africa and frankly around the world,” Wilson said during a recent television interview.
Nigerians have shown increased interest in the forthcoming elections. INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said 12,298,944 new voters successfully completed their registrations during the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise and more than 93.5 million of Nigeria’s 216 million population would be eligible to participate as voters during the election.
As the collection of Permanent Voter’s Cards is set to end by 29 January, here are six things you should know before election day:
- Voters have the right to access the polling station between 8am – 2pm for accreditation on election day.
- Voters are entitled to receive information on the voting procedures from poll officials.
- Voting is expected to be done in secret.
- Voters will have a responsibility to obey all lawful instructions from the INEC and Security Officials on election duty.
- Voters can choose to either leave the polling unit after voting or wait in an orderly and peaceful manner for votes to be counted and results announced.
- National Youth Corps Members (NYSC) with disabilities will serve as Presiding Officers during the election.