[dropcap]P[/dropcap]rofessionally speaking, has Oga Buhari lost the credibility to plan and organise an honest and truthful population census?
Since he is leaving power next year May 29th 2023, he can as well allow the next President who will be sworn in on 29th May 2023 to take care of population census.
Where would he find the funding to implement such a huge financial project almost in 2023, the same time the huge financial project of 2023 General Elections is almost here, in a nation that keeps borrowing monies for consumption, rather than production?
The alleged biases our Oga has shown, the ethnic and religious preferences he has exhibited in selecting his cabinet, security chiefs, and all the sensitive positions has shown he might lack the national trust, the credibility, and the humanity to design, plan, organise and implement population census without showing usual biases to favour some ethnicities and regions over others, especially with the obvious insecurity challenges, ethnic divisions and incessant killings experienced all over Nigeria.
The alleged severity of the violent insecurity in all parts of Nigeria, would make it almost impossible for the planned population census to reflect the true population of Nigeria. Millions may suspect the likelihood of the population census numbers will be fabricated; decreased or increased to favour certain regions and ethnicities against others…
How can a successful Population Census be conducted, in a nation where State Governors asked their citizens to seek to carry firearms due to the uncontrollable insecurity, because those governors may have secret information the populace do not have.
The high level of insecurity will make it impossible for the population census officials to have access into most parts of Nigeria regions and hinterlands without being abused, kidnapped, attacked, and or even killed by killer herdsmen, kidnappers, unknown gunmen, bandits, and terrorists.
Many grievous bodily harm attacks, physical abuses, kidnappings, theft of population census equipment, violence, and killings might be recorded against the officials of the population census, based on insecurity data coming out of different parts of Nigeria from all the regions and hinterlands.
The possibility is very high for the population census data and results to be fabricated or forged and illegally written inside offices and not collected from the field of population census by the population census field staff.
Oga Buhari had (7) seven years and (11) eleven months to design, plan and implement a credible population census. So, why is the fire brigade approach to organise such in 2023?
The financial cost of a population census is not cheap for a nation borrowing for consumption rather than borrowing for production. Where will the fund come from in 2023 to fund such a financially humongous national project, with a similar expensive financial project of 2023 General Elections.
Majority of Nigerians are more focused now, for ASUU strike to end and for cost of living to reduce, and fuel to be available at fuel stations rather than at the so-called fuel-black-markets, not population census.
What most Nigerians need is for better national economic management to reduce hunger, why the Nigeria National Petroleum Company NNPC is not making profits for months unending and how to address the severe poverty in the country, and government plans for the expected global recessions, not population census.
Millions of Nigerians are not bleeding, wailing, and dieing because of population census, rather, they are bleeding, wailing, and dieing due to insecurity, due to the operations of unknown gunmen, the unacceptable killer kidnappers, the ghost bandits, the incessant prison breaks of very violent terrorists, breaking news of known terrorist later turbaned as Zamfara state Emir and the violent terrorist operations against the nation, citizens and security agencies facilities and personnel not population census.
Population census is the least of Nigeria’s challenges, when some of those in the corridors of power are carting away Billions of Naira without being arrested or successfully prosecuted publicly, except from a baby-pat behind the suspects hands followed by usual Presidential rhetoric.
The next President of Nigeria, come May 29th 2023, will be in a better position to plan and implement population census, and inform Nigerians where he will find the funding because he will have more quality time and not fire brigade approach inorder to give Nigerians a cost efficient, credible, useful and honest population census figures.
The outgoing National administration based on their achievements and failures is suspected of the high possibilities to give a poorly, questionable, fabricated, and grossly biassed population census figures and data which will consume huge sums of money that will possibly be carted away by the outgoing administration and or her staff. These monies could be quickly used to settle Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU strike to save the Nation’s Youths and academic staff who have been on strike for five (5) months and counting. Such create a generational academic gap, societal deficiency, and employability imbalances. Furthermore, the population census millions of Naira, can be used to rectify the National Health and Hospitals to end the millions of foreign currency and billions of Naira spent on overseas-medical-tourism by wealthy Nigerians, especially Nigerian Politicians, their family members, and those in the corridors of power of this outgoing National Government in Nigeria.
Vince Onyekwelu, is Current Affairs Analyst and a Former British Police Officer. He is a regular face on National Television discussing National Security Risk Strategy at the highest level.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.