NEWS Oyo Population Not Less Than 15 Million – Makinde

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NEWS Oyo Population Not Less Than 15 Million – Makinde
Gov. Makinde

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his happiness and satisfaction, and that of the entire nation with the military as well as other security agencies on the safe release of the remaining 23 kidnapped train passengers held in captivity by Boko Haram terrorists.

In a reaction to the news of the safe release of the hostages in line with his earlier directives, President Buhari said the nation owed the military and all other security and intelligence agencies a debt of gratitude for the successful conduct of the operation leading to the release of the hostages, saying that these agencies had shown outstanding capabilities over this period that the whole world will not fail to take note of.

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has appealed to the National Population Commission to avoid guesswork and manipulation in the coming census.

The governor, who said the population of the state should not be anything less than 15 million said any figure below that is false and inaccurate.

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Speaking in Ibadan on Wednesday at a stakeholders’ forum organized by NPC, Makinde, who was represented by his deputy, Bayo Lawal, said NPopC had not been fair to Oyo State in the last censuses.

He called on the people of the state to cooperate with NPopC officials during the exercise while describing it as an important economic and other planning by the government.

 Lawal said, “Census is very important for us as a government. It is not about politics, religion, or culture.  It is about the number of people in each local government, the state, and Nigeria.

“By my experience, NPopC has not done well for us. Chief Obafemi Awolowo said the 1973 census was unrealistic and since then, they started projection. The 1991 census was worse than that of 1973.  I am saying this as the government of Oyo State and you take it to your headquarters that they are shortchanging Oyo State.

“We learned in school that Ibadan is the largest city in West Africa. Aside from Ibadan, there are other cities like Ogbomoso, Oyo, Saki, Eruwa, and Oke-Ogun.  But now they said Kano, Kaduna, and the Rivers States are bigger than Oyo State.  Why do some small states have more population than Oyo State?

“Census is very important. Let all monarchs support it. It is used for economic consideration.

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“All hands must be on deck. It should not be left to the government alone. This government is ready to support the NPC in order to carry out an accurate census.

“As it stands today, the population of Oyo State from NPopC is not up to 10 million.

“Be accurate and impartial. Declare what you capture. If the population of the state is less than 15 million, it is false and inaccurate. Do your work accurately.’’

The Federal Commissioner, NPopC, Oyo State,  Dr. Eyitayo Oyetunji,  asked for the cooperation of stakeholders. He assured the people that the commission was ready to conduct the best census ever in the history of the country.

 “I am proud to inform you that for the first time in the history of the conduct of censuses in Nigeria, the commission is set to conduct a fully digital census that is transformational and that will incorporate geo-referenced census data to meet the best international standards and provide the data needs for the development aspiration of our nation,” he added.

The Christian Association of Nigeria; the Muslim community; a retired Archbishop of Methodist Church Nigeria,  Ayo Ladigbolu, and others at the forum urged full participation of the people in the exercise.

Source: (Punch)

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