Suspend census, secure Nigeria first, ex-milad, SAN, CSOs tell Buhari

An ex-governor of Kaduna State, Col Abubakar Umar (retd.); a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ahmed Raji, SAN, and a few civil society organisations have referred to as for the suspension of the plan by the Federal Authorities to conduct a inhabitants census subsequent 12 months.

They requested the federal government to focus consideration on the insecurity within the nation and the forthcoming elections, stating that the plan for the census was unnecessary and a misplaced precedence.

The Director-Basic, Nationwide Inhabitants Fee, Nasir Isa-Kwarra, disclosed the plan to State Home correspondents on the finish of the assembly of the Nationwide Council of State presided over by the President, Main Basic Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Thursday.

Whereas noting that the NPC would maintain a pilot census in June this 12 months after the political celebration primaries, Isa-Kwarra famous that the fee would deploy high-grade expertise throughout the train.

Reacting, Umar, who can also be the Founder and Chairman of the Motion for Unity and Progress, confused {that a} nation that was “dealing with existential challenges can not have as one in all its priorities the conduct of a nationwide census.”

In an announcement made out there to Saturday PUNCH, Umar acknowledged, “The choice of the Federal Authorities of Nigeria to hunt and get the approval of the Nationwide Council of State to conduct the nationwide census in April 2023 will need to have come as a terrific shock to most well-meaning Nigerians.

“A rustic that’s dealing with existential challenges such because the unprecedented degree of insecurity and a collapsing economic system can not have as one in all its priorities the conduct of a nationwide census.

“We, due to this fact, urge the Buhari administration to droop what is going to quantity to a misadventure and waste of scarce nationwide sources.

“This administration ought to focus all its consideration on securing the nation and conducting the 2023 elections.

“A nationwide census at this level is actually not a precedence. assuming that its conduct is feasible.”

Additionally reacting, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ahmed Raji, mentioned it might be meaningless to conduct a census with out safety.

He acknowledged, “Safety may be very essential as a result of there could also be no significant census with out safety. Maybe the federal government is hopeful that earlier than April subsequent 12 months, we might have overcome the safety challenges.

“There is no such thing as a hurt in planning primarily based on some expectations/hopes.  They need to work laborious in direction of the expectations and hopes. And the residents ought to equally help combating insecurity. Whereas the federal government takes the lead, we should all help to realize lasting peace, however the authorities should show sincerity and dedication.”

The spokesman for the Pan Niger Delta Discussion board, Mr Ken Robinson, described the deliberate census as an irrelevant ritual of misplaced significance.

He acknowledged, “Census is important however the timing is mistaken. PANDEF agrees with the ideas and impressions that the federal government does the precise factor on the mistaken time. That is one such occasion. What’s paramount to Nigeria now could be the security of lives and property and never a census. That’s what they need to concentrate on. They need to cease throwing up a difficulty that’s prone to be controversial with all of the misconceptions round it.

“We expect that the federal government ought to shelve the concept of a census for the following authorities, which can deal with the problem of safety first earlier than the census. We needs to be speaking a couple of census in maybe 2025 or 2026.”

A political activist and consultant of the Socialist Staff and Youth League and the #TakeItBack Motion, Juwon Sanyaolu, mentioned, “It (census) is a mere money-wasting expenditure. I believe there are specific issues we have to deal with. Have a look at the information now we have on the bottom from the Nationwide Identification Quantity, Financial institution Verification Quantity and all of that. What precisely are they utilizing these information for? The issue with this isn’t about information assortment, it’s a drawback of utterly irresponsible management and folks which can be missing in political will to do what is true.

“As long as we proceed to have this type of visionless chief on the helm of affairs; even when we do tens of millions of censuses, one of the best consequence will accrue extra money into the pockets of some.”

For Jackson Lekan Ojo, an affiliate member of the Worldwide Basis for Safety Officers, Florida, USA, a inhabitants census isn’t one in all Nigeria’s prime 100 priorities.

A human rights lawyer and principal of Festus Ogun Authorized, Mr Festus Ogun, mentioned, “I really feel this (census) is ill-timed. We’re in a severe interval of nationwide emergencies. We can not wait until we begin counting cadavers on the road earlier than we all know all different tasks should be postponed to provide method for our folks and nation’s enough safety?”

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