Controversy Over The Appointment Of The Chairman Of National Population Commission (NPC).
The appointment of the chairman and members of the National Population Commission (NPC) has created fresh controversies in the Nigerian presidency.
Premium Times reports that the controversy ensued hours after the National Council of State (NCS) ratified the appointment on Thursday, August 27.
The newspaper notes that the list of appointees previously published by various media houses has Silas Agara named as chairman of the NPC.
The other six nominees on the list were Muhammed Dottijo (Sokoto); Razaq Gidado (Kwara); Ibrahim Mohammed (Bauchi); Joseph Shazin (FCT); Bala Banya (Katsina); and Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin (Lagos).
However, hours after the story was published, presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, sent a brief message to reporters saying a different person was confirmed as chairman.
According to the presidential spokesperson, Nasiru Kwarra was confirmed as chairman of the commission and not Agara.
Shehu explained that the earlier circulated name of Agara was a mistake.
Meanwhile, a statement made by the president of the senate Ahmad Lawan also showed that a list of names, different from the ones previously by the media, was approved by the council for the NPC
Lawan told journalists after the meeting that a list of 12 names was confirmed for the NPC.
Premium Times noes that Lawan’s statement of the list containing 12 names tallies with that published by Sahara Reporters.
Sahara Reporters had claimed in the report that the list of seven names was replaced with a list of 12 names with Agara also removed as chairman and replaced by Kwarra.
The newspaper, citing a presidency source, said some officials of the Buhari government were not comfortable with the NPC being headed by a Christian, thus leading to the change.
Both men are from Nasarawa state. Agara, a former deputy governor of the state, is a Christian while Kwarra is a Muslim.
The controversy is expected to further add to the allegations of bias against the Buhari administration which has been accused of both religious and ethnic bias, an allegation the president and his aides have repeatedly denied, Premium Times notes.
The NPC is responsible for conducting the national census in Nigeria, which last conducted a census in 2006.