The Islamic Forum of Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to shift the date for the conduct of the forthcoming national census to a future date, saying that the March/April date slated for the exercise coincides with this year’s Ramadan fast.
The Executive Secretary of the Forum, Professor Salisu Shehu, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, explaining that the timing of the exercise is not favourable to Muslims across the country.
He noted that Muslims both as staff of the Commission and the people to be enumerated will find it difficult to participate in the exercise.
He also streased that they would not be able to deal with the hardship the exercise would bring including the long distant travels they may have to embark upon during the period.
“The exercise, as it were, is always a very rigorous one involving travels across the entire regions of our great country. Ad –hoc staff as is usually the case can be posted to any part of the country and to very remote places far away from the places of origin” he disclosed.
The Forum maintained that some Muslims may have to travel to remote non – Muslim areas to discharge their official duties may not find a conducive environment to observe their Ramadan spiritual duties.
“Considering the on-going difficulty in accessing the new Naira notes, coupled with staying at home for five days during the exercise, Nigerians would definitely face difficulties that need to be considered also by the Commission” he added.
While commending the effort of the National Population Commission for its preparation so far, it reasoned that rescheduling the date of the exercise would further enhance the quality of the outcome.