Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Tuesday, raised the alarm over the plan of the Federal Government to conduct a census in 2023 just before the election.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, alleged that the plan by FG through the Nigerian Population Commission is an attempt to inflate votes from Northern Nigeria at the detriment of voters in the Southern part of the country.
The group described as suspicious, the sudden decision by the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to conduct a census just few months to the end of his tenure and the 2023 general elections.
HURIWA noted that Nigerians won’t keep quiet whilst the Buhari government controlled by Fulanis allegedly try to perpetuate themselves in power through the alleged inflation of votes during next elections.
Already, the Federal Government said it would recruit no fewer than one million Nigerians for the conduct of the 2023 census.
In 2019, the Independent National Electoral Commission said the South-South has 12,841,279 registered voters; North-Central has 13,366,070 registered voters; South-East has 10,057,130 registered voters; South-West 16,292,212 registered voters; North-West has 20,158,100 registered voters; and the North-East has 11,289, 293 registered voters.
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Of course, the figures must have increased slightly with the renewed voter registration campaign lately but HURIWA alerts all Nigerians to be vigilant lest citizens are shortchanged by one part of the country.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The hurried census is an alleged attempt to validate the planned rigging of the election by the All Progressives Congress government.
“Already, the Northern Elders’ Forum and the Arewa Consultative Forum have at various times boasted that the North has the numerical strength to win presidential elections.
“It is also a common knowledge that child voting and multiple voting are usual phenomenon in the electoral history of Northern Nigeria.
“HURIWA warns the Federal Government to discontinue its plan census next year and do so after the general elections. As a matter of fact, Buhari had seven years to do that and he didn’t conduct the census. Nigerians don’t need to be counted now, all they want is for their lives to count and for their votes to count through a free and fair election devoid of malfeasance and fraud.
“HURIWA unequivocally rejects the planned census as it is an attempt to manipulate figures in favour of Fulanis who are being smuggled into Nigeria from Central African Republic, Chad and Niger Republic.
“HURIWA won’t hesitate to challenge the government’s decision in court if it moves to go on with the suspicious action.”