Conducting census ahead of elections could lead to political manipulations – Dogara

by Dolapo Adelana

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has kicked against conducting the National Population Census in 2018.

According to Dogara the census should be conducted after the 2019 elections to avoid manipulations by politicians.

Dogara, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Turaki Hassan, on Monday in Abuja said that conducting the census in an election year may generate unrealistic results.

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“This should be done when there isn’t so much at stake.

“I won’t advise anyone to conduct national census in 2018.

“If we are not going to achieve it in 2017, then we should just forget it until after 2019.

“If you conduct census at the niche of elections, there will be so much pressure, crisis and the lure for people to manipulate the figures for political reasons, such that the agency cannot even cope with,’’ Dogara stated.

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The Speaker suggested that the exercise should be done by the next administration at the beginning of its tenure.

“We may have something that resembles reality, but I can bet it, if the census is conducted in 2018, the outcome will be doubtable.

“I know who we are and I know the kind of litigations, backlashes and the pressure, but we don’t need all that now.

“We have so many challenges; let us empower the agencies to keep building on the blocks that they will leverage on in the future in order to do the exercise,’’ Dogara said.

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