President Goodluck Jonathan has queried the chairman of the National Population Commission, NPC, Festus Odimegwu barely 24 hours after the minister of Youth Development, Inuwa Abdul-Kadir was sacked.
The query might be connected to recent comments made by the NPC chairman regarding figures of the 2006 census which he said were cooked up.
Odimegwu had alleged that no credible census had been conducted in Nigeria since 1816. According to him, census figures were regularly distorted for selfish reasons.
“No census has been credible in Nigeria since 1816. Even the one conducted in 2006 is not credible. I have the records and evidence produced by scholars and professors of repute,” he said.
Odimegwu added: “Nigeria has run on falsehood for too long. We must stop this falsehood and put a stop to all of these. Because the 2006 census was not correct, the former board of NPC was unable to publish the figures. If they try it, there will be uproar.”
The Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso had not taken these remarks lightly and had drawn the attention of the President to the comments, even faulting Odimegwu’s appointment.
Kano State had been declared the most populous state in the country following the census.
“We are not happy about that appointment and think that it was a mistake. Festus shouldn’t be there in the first place and my guess is that he’s taking a lot of his products (referring to alcoholic beverages) because he cannot be the chairman of NPC and at the same time be attacking what his predecessor had done,” said Kwankwaso.
Odimegwu was given an ultimatum to respond to the query, ascertaining whether or not he made the comments attributed to him.