By Amos Aar
THE Benue State office of the National Population Commission (NPC) last Wednesday held advocacy and sensitisation campaign for traditional, religious and opinion leaders on Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) in Konshisha LGA of Benue State preparatory to the next population and housing census in Nigeria.
Speaking at an interactive meeting, chairman of Konshisha local government, Hon. James Jirgba, who welcomed the NPC team to Tse-Agberagba, the headquarters of the Council, urged the authorities to take the meeting seriously as it was essential for development.
He further enlightened them on the benefits of population size, saying it is a resource that attracts good political structures, creation of more council wards and federal allocation to local government areas. He therefore tasked the traditional rulers as the custodians of immediate communities to pass the message to their subjects.
NPC’s Federal Commissioner in Benue State, Kupchi Patricia O. Iyanya, represented by NPC’s State Director, Mr Stephen Tsegba, said that the EAD slated to commence in Konshisha on Saturday, 6th March, 2021 is meant to “divide the area into small units that can be conveniently covered by a pair of enumerators during the next census.”
He said for the purpose of more sensitisation, Community Interface Assistants (CIA) will be accompanying the demarcators who will be going round communities to number houses and make enquiries about households, map enumeration and registration areas in collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
According to him, people who understand Tiv language will also be attached to demarcators as guides and interpreters. He emphasised that EAD is not population census per se because people will not be counted during that phase of the census exercise.
Mr Tsegba stated that the chairman of Konshisha local government will receive 55 demarcators on Saturday, March 6, 2021 deployed to Council wards where they will be working for a period of one month.
He said 12 local government areas have already been demarcated, while Konshisha and Vandeikya are next to take their turn and that NPC’s target is to demarcate 98 local government areas across Nigeria like in the last census.
He said that communities involved in land dispute at the time of the demarcation will be enumerated but the result will be withheld by the NPC pending the resolution of the crises.
In his presentation, CIA Noah Abu, appealed to traditional rulers and individuals to provide security and allow demarcators to move freely in their communities to access buildings/housing units in order to number them for demarcation. He also urged them to cooperate during the exercise by responding to all enquiries.
In his remark, Paramount Ruler of Konshisha local government, HRH Thomas Jam Gbinde (Ter-Ikyor 1), represented by Mue Ter Shangev-Tiev, Chief Moses Orngu Ikyarem, assured that the Royal Fathers would convey the message to their communities and prevail on them to comply.