CENSUS 2023 : Don’t Answer Questions on Religion affiliation- Nigerians urged 

The National Population Commission(NPC) has urged members of the publicto disregard the rumour of question  on religious affiliation trending on social media..
Isiaka Yahaya,(Ph.D)Director, Public Affairs, in a statement  also urged  members of the public to  extend maximum  cooperation to the enumerators for the sake of delivering a credible, reliable and acceptable  2023 Population and Housing Census data for national development planning.
The statement  reads “The attention of the National Population Commission has been drawn to an audio tape  going viral on the WhatsApp social media platform across the country which stated that the  religious affiliations of respondents will be canvassed in the 2023 Population and Housing  Census.
“The audio tape calls on Muslims in Nigeria to see the purported canvassing of information  on their religious affiliations as a tool to suppress their population figures. It therefore instructed adherents of the Islamic faith to resist any attempt to divide the religion of Islam  by refusing to answer any question on their religious affiliations.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission wishes to state unequivocally that the 2023
“Population and Housing Census will not canvass questions on religion and religious  affiliations of respondents.
The decision to exclude religion along with ethnicity from the census questionnaire was  taken in due consideration of the sensitive nature of these issues within the Nigerian polity  and the need to save the census data from needless controversies and attention.
“A fact check on the origin of the purported message shows that it was first circulated in  Ghana during its 2021 population census exercise through a Whatsapp message. This negative message found its way into the Nigerian social media space in July 2022 when the  Commission conducted the Trial Census.
“The re-circulation of the message in audio form as the Commission sets to conduct the 2023 Population and Housing Census in May 2023 is an
indication that some elements are bent on drawing the 2023 Census into unnecessary controversies through propagation of falsehood and incitement of a section of the population to destabilize existing peaceful coexistence in the country.
“The Commission carried out extensive consultation with data users and stakeholders in  coming up with the questions to be canvassed in the next census. The overarching goal of the questionnaire is to generate data that will facilitate sustainable development. The  questionnaire is robust and include demographic characteristics of respondents and other
socio-economic characteristics but without any question whatsoever on religion and  ethnicity”  the statement reads

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