Dogara canvasses shift of 2018 national headcount
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara Monday canvassed a shift in the proposed 2018 census in the Interest of the country.
The Speaker explained that his position was premised on the need to avoid the politicisation of the outcome of the headcount which had been a source of dispute between the northern and southern part of the country in the past.
Dogara, who bared his mind on the issue in a statement, enjoined those pushing for the head count in 2018 to exercise patience till after 2019 elections when there will be no political pressure to manipulate its outcome.
He argued that conducting population census in an election year may generate unrealistic results, and therefore advised that the next administration should conduct the census at the beginning of its tenure when there isn’t so much at stake at the time.
Said he: “I won’t advise anyone to conduct national census in 2018. I said it before that if we are not going to achieve it in 2017, then we should just forget it until after 2019.
“If you conduct census at the niche of elections, there will be so much pressure, crisis and the lure for people to manipulate the figures for political reasons, such that the agency cannot even cope with. So it is better for a fresh administration to conduct this exercise from the beginning of that administration when we do not have any pressure of elections in sight. Then we may have something that resembles reality, but I can bet you if the census is conducted in 2018, the outcome will be doubtable.
“Seriously speaking, because I know who we are and I know the kind of litigations, backlashes, the pressure and we don’t need that now to be candid. We have so many challenges, let’s empower the agencies to keep building on the blocks that they will leverage on in the future in order to do the exercise but doing it in 2018, honestly it is nothing I would advocate.”