A former military governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd), yesterday asked the Federal Government to suspend its plan to conduct Nigeria’s next census in April 2023.

He said government should first secure the country before conducting a census.

He said census was not a priority for the country at this point in time.

Umar, who is also the chairman of the Movement for Unity and Progress, made his position known in a statement in Abuja.

“The decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to seek and get the approval of the National Council of State to conduct national census in April 2023 must have come as a great shock to most well-meaning Nigerians,” he said.

Continuing, Umar said: “A country that is facing existential challenges such as unprecedented level of insecurity, collapsing economy cannot have as one of its priorities the conduct of a national census.

“We therefore urge the Buhari administration to suspend what will amount to misadventure and waste of scarce national resources.

“This Administration should focus all its attention on securing the nation and conducting the 2023 elections.

“A national census at this point is certainly not a priority, assuming that its conduct is possible.”

The census issue was one of the decisions taken at Thursday’s meeting of the Council of State in Abuja.

The Director General, National Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Isa-Kwara, said the commission would conduct a pilot census in June after the political parties would have concluded their primaries.

The last national census was held in 2006.

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