The long awaited Nigerian general election, 2023 is here. The day where citizens get to decide who takes leadership of the country for the next four years.
President Muhammadu Buhari will be stepping down after eight years in power as a new president will be decided today February 25, 2023.
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Some voters are concerned about the recent chaos and widespread unrest which resulted from people not being able to access cash because of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s naira redesign and cash swap policy.
Regardless of the crisis, many are ready to exercise their duty as a citizen of the federal republic of Nigeria.
As a citizen that will be going out to vote today, we’ve put together for you some election essentials and tips to stay safe while outside voting.
What you need to vote
The most important thing required in order to vote is a valid Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC), which proves your identity and shows that you are a registered voter.
The PVC contains the voter’s biometric data, which is used for additional verification on election day. The PVC will be use to accredit you when you get to your polling unit. The deadline for obtaining PVC has past, only those who have obtained it will be allowed to vote today.
Time to arrive at your polling unit
You need to get to your polling unit as early as 8:00am. Polling units open from 8am for accreditation and close at 1pm. According to voting procedures, voting starts at 8:30am. Only voters who were in line before 2:00pm. would be accredited according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Voters that are eligible are expected to vote at the polling unit they completed their voter’s registration or were transferred to by INEC.
Who is eligible to vote?
You are eligible to vote if you are a citizen of Nigeria, 18 years and above, registered in the constituency you intend to vote, and have a Permanent Voter’s Card, PVC.
Nigerians living in the diaspora are not permitted to vote abroad.
What you should carry along to your polling unit
Apart from your voters card. There are some other important things you should take with you to your polling unit.
1. Phone and power bank
You have no idea how a phone can become a lifesaver on election day. With your phone you will be able to access important information regarding security in your area. You also need a power bank in case your phone battery gets low.
You need to go with some light refreshments and water to get enough energy and not get thirsty while you stand and wait your turn on election day.
Tips for safety
In order to keep yourself safe while you go out to vote please take note of these tips:
1. Don’t wear political merchandise to your polling unit
You should safeguard yourself by not publicly announcing the people or party you support. It is advisable that you go to your polling unit in normal cloth to prevent needless conflict with political thugs and miscreants.
2. Steer clear of politically charged conversations
While nothing prevents you from mingling with other voters, it’s critical that you resist the urge to get sucked into political discussions. Such discussions, especially with strangers, may turn into arguments and have unfavorable outcomes.
3. Move with identification
Make sure you have some form of identification with you when you go out to vote. This will be useful in the event of a security force stop and search or in an emergency.
Other elections being held
Apart from the presidential vote, Nigerians will also be electing members of the Senate and House of Representatives today, February 25.
Elections will also be held two weeks later, on March 11, 2023 to select governors for 28 of Nigeria’s 36 states.
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Hotlines to report criminal activities
The Nigerian army on Tuesday February 21, 2023 gave out these hotlines to monitor and report any suspicious act of violence by persons or groups of persons capable of disrupting the peaceful conduct of the election:
- ABIA STATE 08031113129
- ADAMAWA STATE 08022750987
- AKWA-IBOM STATE 07034470916
- ANAMBRA STATE 07035891185
- BAUCHI STATE 08128063675
- BAYELSA STATE 08033241005
- BENUE STATE 08080754339
- BORNO STATE 09099616160
- CROSS RIVER STATE 08037084192
- DELTA STATE 07035070797
- EBONYI STATE
- EDO STATE
- EKITI STATE
- ENUGU STATE
- GOMBE STATE
- IMO STATE
- JIGAWA STATE
- KADUNA STATE
07031544227 08028580978 08035242633
- KANO STATE
- KASTINA STATE
- KEBBI STATE
- KOGI STATE
- KWARA STATE
- LAGOS STATE
08034025825 08023190487 09024409000 08033709434
- NASSARAWA STATE
- NIGER STATE
- OGUN STATE
- ONDO STATE
- OSUN STATE
- OYO STATE
- PLATEAU STATE
- RIVERS STATE
- SOKOTO STATE
07069084570 07052693532 08136913284
- TARABA STATE
- YOBE STATE
- ZAMFARA STATE
09114913164 08186690471 08079153860 08034276240 08164304255 09159793968