by Segun Odeleye
The chairman of the National Population Commission, Festus Odimegwu has been talking a lot recently, granting interviews, speaking at events and every single time condemning the results of the last Nigerian census in 2006 which he says was flawed and massively rigged.
Many Nigerians agree that censuses conducted over the years, and including the 2006 edition, have been misleading and a cosmetic allocation of figures, but Kano governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, believes that even if the NPC boss shares that view, he’s approaching it the wrong way.
“Why not quietly correct it, even if it is wrong, now that he has the opportunity?” the governor wonders.
Kwankwaso says that the appointment of Odimegwu as NPC chairman is a wrong decision and insinuated that Odimegwu drinks too much beer.
Kwanwkaso, who addressed State House correspondents after he met with President Goodluck Jonathan at the presidential villa, wondered why someone who had only alcohol as credentials throughout his career should be appointed to head a sensitive government commission like the NPC in the first place.
He said, “We are not happy about that appointment and think that it was a mistake. Festus shouldn’t be there in the first place. Why; because, you see, unfortunately, somebody read his CV. He had only one thing in the alcohol industry, all his life. And my guess is that he’s taking a lot of his products and that is why we feel that his appointment is a mistake because he cannot be the chairman of NPC and at the same time be attacking what his predecessor had done.
“Even if it was wrong, he now has the good opportunity to correct it, but instead of doing that, he has been running around to discredit the 2006 census.”
Recounting the first time he came across Odimegwu, Kwankwaso said, “I just met that man when I was Minister of Defence, we had a military occasion in the East and just when we were about to finish, protocol came and told me that President Obasanjo had another thing to do, and I followed him and just went there and saw a big brewery.
“And they said he was the head but the way he was talking then, I knew immediately after the appointment that there was a mistake there.”