Gov Ortom cites “Hidden Agenda” as reason for calling for the suspension of 2023 census

File Photo: Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

On Wednesday, during a visit from a delegation led by Middle Belt Forum President, Dr. Bitrus Pogu in Makurdi, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom urged the Federal Government to suspend the National Population Census scheduled for May 2023.

Ortom claimed that there may be a hidden agenda behind the census and requested that the exercise be halted until the return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their homes.

He said, “The FG should suspend the issue of the census because it looks like the proposed census is coming with an agenda.

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“So until they are able to restore security and all our IDPs return to their ancestral homes to give all of them opportunities to be counted in their homes of birth.

“Because I understand from the National Population Commission that those to be counted must be counted in their localities”.

With thousands of deaths within a year due to herdsmen attacks, Benue state holds the record for the highest number of attacks in the country.

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Over two million people reside in various IDP camps across the state. Just a week ago, the notorious killer herdsmen raided one of these camps, resulting in the deaths of at least 35 individuals.