Apex pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has called on the Federal Government to suspend the National Housing and Population Census scheduled to begin on May 3 as the exercise will not achieve the desired result.
The group which made the appeal on Thursday in a communique issued at the end of its monthly meeting held at the residence its leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, in Isanya Ogbo, Ogun State, said it had reservations over the timing of the exercise, as well as the N100 billion budget for the exercise, which it believes was scandalous and an economic offence.
In the communique signed by Afenifere’s Secretary General, Sola Ebiseni, the group said:
“There is no compelling reason the census must be held by the expiring Buhari administration.
“Afenifere decries the most insensitive deployment of over N100 billion on this wasteful exercise as scandalous and an economic offence.
“Afenifere bemoans the unthinkable insistence of the Buhari administration in conducting the 2023 National Census despite the objective realities which make such an important national exercise most inauspicious in timing and impossible in credible implementation.
“It is in the light of the importance of credible exercise that we strongly advise against the conduct of the Census which, among other reasons, we said could not possibly hold in the same year of a general election.
“That Afenifere is particularly bemused that government expects participation in headcount by citizens still incensed and distraught by the trauma of violence and brigandage of the elections or by those in IDP camps within their country in whose ancestral homes terrorists in occupation will now be counted as new indigenes.
“That all factors considered, including its inability to supervise a transparent electoral process, a lesser headcount exercise, the integrity deficiency of this administration is abysmally compounded in conducting census which partisan disputes in Nigeria is often at the level of communities, states and ethnic nationalities having been politicised overtime,” it added.
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