By Adesina Wahab

A group, the Yoruba Global Alliance, YGA, has described the plan by the Federal Government to conduct a population census next year as a political miscalculation and misadventure.

The group, in a statement titled “Census, which Census? and signed by the President, Dr Amos Akingba, and the Chairman of Council, Chief Tola Adeniyi, and made available to Vanguard in Lagos on Sunday,  said the plan to conduct population census next year qualified for an April Fool event, even though the Council of State was said to have approved the move. 

“It is inconceivable that any serious-minded government should ever consider human population enumeration amidst an atmosphere of unprecedented insecurity, mistrust, unbridled corruption, and pervasive economic woes. It would be like a similar exercise conducted in 1974 which the subsequent Murtala Muhammed Military junta immediately jettisoned on assumption of office in 1975.

“What on earth could be the rationale for seeking to do a national headcount at this point in time, especially amidst rumours and permutations that the unitary government in Abuja may have other tricks up its sleeves regarding holding national elections slated for February next year?

“The programmed Census is an ignominious mischief towards a predetermined end of imposing false demographics on Nigeria to the advantage of the Fulani hegemony. Nigerians cannot be deceived any longer.

“Human population Census requires meticulous planning, including but not limited to cartographic capturing, enumeration of houses and other dwelling places, comprehensive physical counting of human heads all over the country and,  of course, a huge man-power outlay.

“In a situation where guardians and parents have stopped allowing their children and wards to proceed to mandatory Youths Service Corps outside their immediate environment, and hundreds of thousands have fled their homesteads because of pampered marauding human butchers, euphemistically tagged bandits, where will the government import enumerators from?

“We should admit the obvious fact that Nigeria is at war with itself. Census exercises are never conducted in a war situation.

“More than four million Nigerians are scattered in Internally Displaced Persons camps all over the country most especially in the far Northern states of the country and Niger state. Who is going to count people who have been sentenced to humongous suffering by their own people in a country where suspicious terrorism holds sway?

“There can only be one reason for this unreasonable scheming: come up with terribly skewed census figures and plunge the uneasy country to further confusion, infighting, insurrection and catastrophic implosion and ultimately full-blown Civil War.

“We call on well-meaning Nigerians most especially respectable elders who knew Nigeria when it enjoyed a good measure of civilization and civility, to urge President Muhammadu Buhari to halt this unwarranted assault.

“We equally urge the National Assembly, the rubber stamp entity and submissive ‘ wife’ of the Executive Council, to deploy whatever balls they have to stop this open invitation to anarchy.

“Student organizations, Nigeria Bar Association, the entire media outlets, labour and trade organizations and all the civil society platforms must rise up in unison to out-rightly condemn and reject this odious and obnoxious fraudulent scheming.

“Finally, we warn those who are the puppeteers, the faceless advisers and mis-advisers to keep off, and stop leading the government to a certain ruinous end.”

The group said hapless citizens should not be burdened with an exercise that would end in futility.


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