South, M’Belt groups ask FG to shelve 2023 census
Groups of Nigerians from the South and Middle Belt regions, yesterday, asked the Federal Government to shelve its proposed population census planned for 2023, saying the current state of affairs in the country would make a mockery of objectives of the exercise.
In an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, titled: ‘Dangerous and Dysfunctional Timing of Planned 2023 National Population Census in Nigeria’, they also called for restructuring of the country before the exercise holds.
The letter, which was made available to The Guardian in Enugu, was signed by the President of World Igbo Congress (WIC), Prof. Anthony Ejiofor; General Secretary, Yoruba One Voice Worldwide, Prince Adedokun Ademiluyi; Convener, Niger Delta Self Determination Movement (NDSDM), Annkio Briggs; Lawyer for Igbo Board of Deputies, Austin Okeke; Mayor of Kwararafa Kingdom Inalegwu John Inalegwu; Representative of Ekwenche Organisation, Emeka Nwachukwu; Public Interest Lawyer, Ene Orgah and Chief Malcolm Omirhobo.
They said the call to shift the exercise has become necessary, following the occupation of many parts of the country by terrorists and self-identified Jihadists.
The noted that many forests in almost all states of the South and Middle Belt are occupied by ‘displace-and-replace’ invaders. They added that the census “increases the chances of igniting social combustion in a society already tensed up with security, political, social and economic failures.”