The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Saturday, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for “listening to the voice of reason” and approving the postponement of the 2023 National Population Census.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Terver Akase, the governor stated that in an appeal to the Federal Government on April 13, he had called for the exercise to be postponed until adequate security was guaranteed in the country.
The governor had argued that conducting the census would amount to injustice and deprivation of “millions” of displaced Nigerians.
“I want to say that the Federal Government should suspend the issue of census because it looks like the proposed census is coming with an agenda,” the governor was quoted as having said.
“So until they are able to restore security and all our IDPs go back to their ancestral lands to give all of them opportunities to be counted in the homes of birth. Because I understand from the National Population Commission that those to be counted must be counted in their localities.”
With the President having approved the postponement of the census, Ortom urged the Federal Government to ensure that Nigerians whose communities have been taken over by bandits and armed herders regain their lands and return home.
“He says the lives and well being of the people must be placed above other factors for the nation to realize its aspiration for greater growth and development,” the statement added.
According to the statement, Ortom remains committed to the rule of law, justice, fairness and equity.