Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The National Population Commission (NPC), says the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) will not be a threat to the 2023 national population and housing census in the South-East geopolitical zone of the country.
The census is scheduled to hold nationwide from May 3 to May 5.
The NPC Federal Commissioner for Enugu State, Mr Ejike Eze, gave the assurance in Enugu.
Eze said the group had sufficiently understood the need to allow residents to participate in the exercise to make it successful as doing otherwise would not help its cause.
He noted that the NPC had encounters with IPOB in two local government areas of Enugu State during the demarcation of the areas preparatory to the headcount, but the intervention by government resolved the issues.
“IPOB has on its own embarked on advocacy to encourage people to participate in the census.
“We have been able to engage IPOB to convince it that its agitation requires information that the census would provide,’’ Eze said.
He dismissed calls for a shift in the dates of the exercise arguing that census was not the same as election where there are competitors, winners and losers.
Eze also dismissed claims that the N869 billion budgeted for the exercise was exorbitant, saying that it was the least when compared with the budgets of other countries.
“The U.S.A. spent between 12 dollars and 15 dollars (N5,760 –N7,200) to count a citizen, while Malawi spent nine dollars (N4,320) per citizen.
“In Nigeria, however, we are making a proposal to spend six dollars (N2,880) to count a citizen.”