Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
Youths of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo have called for the postponement of the 2023 census.
The youth wing of the organisation made the call after the meeting of its leadership on Wednesday in Enugu.
The group said its investigations revealed that National Population Commission is not prepared for the exercise.
It said the postponement will enable the Commission put all necessary factors required to conduct the exercise in place.
The group said: “We have also noted the unpreparedness of the National Population Commission (NPC) towards the scheduled 2023 National Census; and we hereby add our voice to the widely recommended postponement of the National Census that is meant to commence in the month of May 2023.
“This is to ensure that all necessary factors that shall determine the success and uphold the purpose of the exercise are put in place.
“These factors involve and not limited to the status of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Insecurity and other technical matters bedeviling the Commission.
“This call for the postponement shall also ensure judicious use of the N88b budgeted for the nationwide exercise in order to maximise impact and serve the purpose.
“We call on all Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic divide, religion and party affiliations, to join hands in building lasting peace, unity, and stability in our dear country.
“To achieve this, we all must collectively eschew and condemn Injustice, Ethnic Profiling and Religious Preferences. In the interest of Peace and Progress as a Nation, we must promote and protect Equity and Fairness.
“On this note, we call on all well-meaning Nigerians to stand up against various acts of injustice and neglects, especially those citizens in various IDP camps and those unduly kept in detention as prisoners of conscience in correctional facilities across Nigeria.
“This shall cover unprecedented miles in our journey for National cohesion and healing.
The group warned those impersonating the National Leadership of Ohanaeze to desist forthwith.
“We commend the Acting Leadership of the National Executive Committee of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide ably led by the Secretary General, His Excellency, Amb. Okay Emuchay MFR, Elders Council led by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and the Women Wing ably led by Chief Mrs Rita Daniels for squaring the onerous task of Leadership.
“We frown at the continuous impersonation of the Leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide by some unrepentant mischievous individuals like Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Okwu Nnabike, Igboayaka O. Igboayaka and Arthur Obiora; irrespective of a Court Order, stopping them from illegally parading themselves as officials of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
“We therefore admonish them to desist from illegality as we shall not fold our hands and watch them causing unnecessary confusion in affairs of the Igbo Nation.
“Finally, we reaffirm our unreserved solidarity and support to all our friends and allies alike, as we look forward to a better working relationship that shall entrench and instill National unity, peace, stability and progress for all Nigerians both at Home and in the Diaspora. Together, Nigeria shall Prevail,” they added.