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Afenifere, Ohanaeze dismiss 198 million population figure indices

President General of Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo (Jnr)

The Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere and the apex socio-cultural group in the Southeast, Ohanaeze have dismissed the population figure indices that were used to arrive at the 198 million-population figures.

The spokesman of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin said until the country moves from its present state of consuming nation to a productive one: “It would continue to find it difficult to make any strategic plan.”

He said: “If the country couldn’t give accurate figures about those who have been killed by the Boko Haram insurgents in the last couple of years, what indices are they laying claim to for giving this figure?”

Odumakin added that the issue has made it more apt for the country to be restructured to true federalism.

Also, a member of Ohanaeze, Guy Ikoku said the statisticians were an indication that Nigeria’s population is growing at the rate of three percent yearly, which is a warning signal.

He said: “It is a caution for the country to have reliable population figures to achieve good governance, good education, healthcare and jobs, which are lacking in the present government.”

Ikokwu said most Nigerians are desperate to leave the country to seek better pastures outside, but only to end up as slaves or their body parts sold while thousands drown in the Mediterranean Sea!

According to him, “The primary function of any listening government is the welfare and security of its citizens under a rule of law. It should be a collective struggle.

“Foreign countries that are less populated are more productive, educated, with better living indices than us in the last 20 per cent of the nations on planet earth. What a shame that cows are more valuable than humans.”

Meanwhile, a statistician, Dr. Olusanya Olubusoye, has advised the Federal Government to adopt alternative census models, rather than the current estimated model.

Olubusoye, a lecturer at the Department of Statistics, University of Ibadan, spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

He solicited a register-based model, which include voters’ register, with over 70 million people in the database and the Tax Identification Number (TIN) register.

Others are the National Identity Management register, Bank Verification Number (BVN) register, National Driving Licensing register and vital registration of births and deaths, which the NPC is mandated to undertake.

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