The Islamic Forum of Nigeria has appealed to the Federal Government to reschedule the conduct of the forthcoming national census to a future date, observing 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 said the timing of the exercise is not favourable to Muslims across the country.
A statement signed on Sunday by Prof. Shehu revealed that Muslims both as staff of the Commission and the people to be enumerated will find it difficult to cope with the hardship that may be occasioned by the exercise; 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 observed.
The Forum also stressed that Muslims, who may have to travel to remote non – Muslim areas to officially discharge that assignment, may not even 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 recognizing this year’s census as a national imperative given that it is overdue and commending the preparations so far by the National Population Commission, it stated that rescheduling the date of the exercise would further enhance the quality of the outcome.
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