The 2023 Nigerian presidential election will be coming up on the 25th of February 2023 to elect the president and vice president of Nigeria.

Some think that after voting the only thing to do is to count the votes and the candidate with the highest number of votes is declared the winner. That is very true, but there is more to the way and manner the votes are being decided.

Vote Count

In this article I will be explaining how the winner of an election is being decided in Nigeria.

First we have two types of elections, February 25th and March 11th 2023, the first is the legislative elections, that is elections to the national assembly and state house of assembly, second is the executive elections, elections to the office of the president and governorship election. 

For the legislative election the winner simply depends on the highest number of votes, so therefore one vote can make a difference for the winner.

But for the Executive election, there are two major criterias.

  1. The candidate must secure the highest number of votes in the election count. This means that after counting the votes the winner must secure a majority of the vote counts after the voting.

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the 2023 general election in Nigeria will have 93.46 million eligible voters as per the new voter register released on January 11, 2023.

In an ideal situation, this means that whosoever will be the winner of this election must have a vote count of at least 46.73 million votes (this might not be possible since the contestants are more than two, but in a situation whereby there are only two candidates, and every registered voter would vote, that is the benchmark to be the winner)

  1.  The candidate must secure not less than 25% of votes cast in at least 2/3 of all the 36 states in Nigeria and the FCT, none of the current presidential candidates running in the 2023 elections will be declared a winner if he or she does not secure majority of votes cast on february 25th 2023 and 25% of votes in 24 out of 36 states of Nigeria.

So for a candidate to emerge the winner of this 2023 election, he/she must have the majority of votes counted in its entirety, and also he must have a majority of votes in 24 out of the 36 states in Nigeria, only then can he/ she be declared the winner by INEC.

What If The candidate does not meet up to this criteria, then INEC by the constitution is expected to conduct a second election called RUN-OFF, a runoff is, a second election used in selecting a sole victor through voting, where in the first round, multiple candidates compete and only the top two candidates proceed to the second round. And according to the constitution, a runoff should be conducted 21 days after the first election was conducted.

A runoff is an election between two candidates first, the candidate with the highest number of votes, and second the candidate with the majority of votes in the highest number of states.

Victory in the runoff election: Victory in the runoff election is by simple majority, that is the highest number of votes wins the runoff.

Now that you know how the election will be decided, get ready to vote your candidate in and give him enough to be the winner.