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January 16th, 2015

What would Star Trek have to say about Nigeria’s upcoming 2015 election?

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Blog Editor

January 16th, 2015

What would Star Trek have to say about Nigeria’s upcoming 2015 election?

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Christian Purefoy asks how many people will actually be able vote in Nigeria’s 2015 election.
Nigeria’s Election Chairman, Attahiru Jega, has released official figures for Registered Voters in the 2015 election. The total number is: 68,833,476.But only 38 million have collected their cards. That figure will increase in the next few weeks as the rollout continues but, so far, only 55% of Nigeria’s registered voters can vote in February.nigeria-election-star-trek-voters

Jega has confirmed that the election will also beĀ  held in the North East, despite the threat of Boko Haram. There are 4,886,499 PVC voters cards registered for the region, or 7% of the total registered voters.

I will go out on a limb and say that many of these people will not vote. The country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has had to postpone just the rollout of voter cards three times because of security concerns, as Boko Haram seizes more territory and uses more suicide bombers.

So…

68,833,476 = 100% of total registered voters

48,000,000 = 45% of voters without PVC
4,886,499 = 7% of voters in North East

So, with these “back-of-the-envelope” figures, already 52% of Nigerian registered voters (35,793,407) may not be able to vote.

Then there’s the voters displaced by violence. Some figures place Nigeria’s internally-displaced people (IDPs) at 3.3 million. Jega has said that IDPs will be able to vote but we have no idea how many of these 3.3 million people are registered to vote. It would be a logistical nightmare for INEC in a country where the electoral law says you must vote in your local constituency where you are registered.

And then you have the people who registered but will not vote:

In 2003, voter turn-out for the Presidential election was 69.08%. In 2011, this figure had fallen to 53.68%. In the Parliamentary elections, the figures are even worse – in 2003, voter turn-out was 49.32%, but in 2011, it was 28.66%.

See my post: “The Nigerians that do NOT vote will decide the 2015 election and the future of Nigeria’s democracy” here for more info:
https://plus.google.com/117354148518771892978/posts/dkoh5844wAv

There is a very real concern 52% or 35,793,407 of registered voters will not be able to vote. That would leave 33,040,069 registered voters eligible to vote. But that only 50-55% of those voters will even turn up.

So in a country of approximately 150million people, maybe only 18,172,037 votes will be cast.

And this is all assuming there are no ghost voters, no made up voter registration lists, no rigging, voting materials turn up on time, no manipulation of votes, etc, etc – all of which have been hallmarks of every election since the return of democracy in 1999.

I fully admit that there are a lot of maybes and unreliable figures in this post. But I go through them to make one point – what would Star Trek have to say about Nigeria’s upcoming vote:

This is an election, Jim, but not as we know it.

*
Sources:
http://battabox.com/68-833-476-nigerian-voters-cleared-55-voters-cards/
http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?CountryCode=NG
http://dailyindependentnig.com/2014/07/2015-elections-inecs-underfunding/
http://www.punchng.com/news/38-7-million-nigerians-now-have-voter-cards-inec/

This blog post originally appeared on the author’s Google Plus page.

Christian Purefoy was a former CNN Correspondent in Nigeria and is the founder of BattaBox, an online news and entertainment channel. Follow him on twitter @purefoyAMEBO.

 

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and in no way reflect those of the Africa at LSE blog or the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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