The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, on Thursday urged the Federal Government not to allow the Chairman of the National Population Commission, NPC, Festus Odimegwu, to conduct the 2016 census.
The call was contained in a communiqué signed by the ACF’s National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani, and made available to journalists in Kaduna.
The communiqué was issued after a meeting between the leadership of the forum and the Presidential Committee on Peace and Dialogue.
“ACF appeals to the Federal Government to reconsider its decision to allow the 2016 census under the watch of Chief Festus Odimegwu, for obvious reasons,” the statement read.
The forum also supported the query issued to the NPC chairman by the federal government.
“The meeting noted with delight, the query which the federal government has issued Chief Odimegwu for discrediting past censuses, considering the sensitive nature of census exercise not only in Nigeria but across the globe.”
The communiqué emphasised that the ACF “is not opposed to improvement of management practices that could produce acceptable census needed for planning of socio-economic and political development of the country.”
It said however that it would be unacceptable to describe the censuses as manipulated in favour of a section of the country.
The ACF canvassed support for the committee on dialogue with the Boko Haram, saying the ACF members were fully briefed on the progress made by the committee to bring an end to “the unsavoury activities of the insurgents.”
“To that end, ACF appeals to all patriotic groups, individuals and the general public to support the federal government’s efforts in this regard,” the group said.
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