The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has rejected the plans by the National Population Commission, NPC, to hold the national population census during this year’s Ramadan fasting.
Recall that the NPC Chairman, Nasir Isa-Kwarra, had announced March 29 to April 2 as the dates for the 2023 census.
But the Islamic organization, in a statement on Wednesday by its director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said the time was illogical as Muslims who are fasting will definitely experience untold hardship during the exercise.
The statement reads: “Muslims who are fasting will definitely experience untold hardship concerning what to eat and how to break their fast if census is held during Ramadan. They will be forced to take sahuur in strange environments with the attendant difficulties. Worse still, many of them may not find anything to eat at such times.
“Census work is rigorous, hectic, tedious and tortuous. The logistics of both exercises contradict each other. It must also be noted that census work necessitates courtesy and cordiality between households and enumerators.
“Hunger, fatigue and dehydration may not allow those who are fasting to manifest patience and observe necessary decorum when attending to enumerators. This may affect the succecc of the exercise. It is therefore better after Ramadan.
“MURIC wants stakeholders to accept the fact that Nigeria is not a secular state where the opinions of religious groups are inconsequential. It is a multi-religious nation. We must stop planning projects without any input from all interested parties. Wide consultation is necessary when planning events.
“For instance, any attempt to conduct census during Easter is ill-advised in the same way that any plan for census in Ramadan is an exercise in futility. The earlier we face reality the better.”