Obas, stakeholders assure census officials cooperation for successful area demarcation

census coming up later in the year, traditional rulers and other major stakeholders in Ikorodu Division assured the officials of the National Population Commission (NPC) of the division’s support as the body embarked on the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) of the division.

The exercise, which began on Monday, February 15, 2021, lasted for a month across the Ikorodu Local Government and five Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the division. Traditional rulers, elected officials and Council Chairmen assured the NPC officials that the EAD exercise, which is in preparation for the actual national population, will be carried out successfully and unhindered when the officials of the Commission, led by Hon. (Barr.) Abimbola Salu – Hundeyin, Federal Commissioner, NPC, representing Lagos State, visited the Ayangbure palace on Saturday, February 13, 2021.

Traditional rulers in the division that were on ground to receive the Census officials were – Ayangbure of Ikorodu, Oba Kabir Shotobi, Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Semiudeen Kasali, Olubeshe of Ibeshe, Oba Ricahrd Ogunsanya, Obateru of Egbin, Oba Akeem Oyebo and Eweye of Isiwu, Oba David Raji. They were all officially decorated as NPC Ambassadors.

Meanwhile, Hon. Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin, speaking during the visit, explained that the exercise the Commission is embarking upon in Ikorodu is Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) in preparation for the actual census counting. She stated that during the EAD exercise, households will be counted while structures would be marked for the purpose of easy counting during the actual census. She solicited the cooperation and support of the entire people of Ikorodu to enable the officials of the commission to successfully carry out the exercise without hindrance.

“This is not the real census in which we will count individual persons and get their background information, but during this Enumeration Area Demarcation exercise that is commencing, we are going to focus on households. Once we count about 500 households, they will be circled and form into a polygon, which is the EAD.

This is how we are going to do the exercise by forming households in all the councils into EAD. We are going to conduct the exercise in all the areas that we have people’s presence. Households are regarded as a family or group of people living and eating together through the same means. This is how we are going to do the enumeration,” she further explained.

The Federal Commissioner also charged residents to ensure that their houses are marked and when they are not, they have the right to call the attention of the officials to the omission or protest to their office. “We must allow the officials to mark every separate building in our compound, including the generator house. You are entitled to call the enumerator’s attention to any omission and if he or she refuses, we will provide numbers to call to report such cases. You also have the right to report if you discover that any house is not marked.”

Mrs. Hundeyin also said that apart from the officials that will enumerate buildings and count households, another set of NPC officials, who are from the Quantity Assurance Department, will also be visiting to ascertain the work of the enumerators. “Two sets of our officials will be coming to you; the first are those that will take the number of households and after that, our quality assurance section will also visit you to verify what the first team asks you. We are expected to tell them the truth.

We are not going to achieve our objective to properly enumerate your areas for the census proper if there are boundary crises or our people are not given cooperation during the exercise,” she said.

The NPC Supervisor for Ikorodu, Mr Mufutau Makinwa, giving further explanation on the EAD, also added that the exercise is aimed at counting and marking areas in Ikorodu into small units for easy census counting. “The main reason that we are in Ikorodu is for what we call Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD), which is divided into three parts. While ‘Enumeration’ is the actual counting of people, ‘Area’ is the geographical location that people are residing and where we want to do the counting and ‘Demarcation’ is the division of the area into small units for the officials that will be doing the counting during the census to be able to be properly guided,” he explained.

“There is no census without demarcation and by the United Nations’ standard, the area must be demarcated to allow the census officials to carry out their work effectively.”

While stating that Ikorodu is a very big geographical location, the NPC Supervisor in Ikorodu appealed for support and cooperation, especially from the Council Chairmen, to enable the NPC officials to capture Ikorodu adequately. “Ikorodu, from Itoikin to Imota, Ita-Oluwo and other boundaries, is very large. I have discussed the challenges faced by Ikorodu during the previous census and we can improve on that with cooperation and support from the Council Chairmen. Let us correct the anomalies. I want to thank the Council Chairmen for their efforts so far and we are assured of more cooperation from them. We have started deploying those that will start the work next tomorrow (Monday, January 15) and we need the cooperation of Baales and CDAs/CDCs. Endeavour to show your respective areas’ boundaries to the NPC officials and provide them with safety.”

Mr. Makinwa also stated that officials of the NPC will also be using the opportunity of the enumeration exercise to do registration of birth for children, especially those whose parents reside in the remote areas in Ikorodu. “Secondly, we also want to do registration, especially for people in Maya, Adamo, Aleke and other towns and villages that are in the interior of Ikorodu. We wish to combine the registration with the enumeration so that children that do not have the opportunity to collect birth certificates, would get it. It is their right to be issued with the Nigerian birth certificate,” he said.

His Royal Majesty, Oba Kabir Shotobi, the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, while assuring the NPC officials of the support of the traditional institutions, Councils and CDAs in Ikorodu division, also charged the stakeholders to embark on sensitization regarding the EAD in their areas.

While emphasising the importance of the exercise, he said that it is only when there is adequate counting that the government will be able to know what social amenities are needed in a particular area. “All the traditional rulers in Ikorodu Division are present here today because of the importance of the issue.

And for the grassroots frontliners and the Community Development Associations that are here today, it is you that we want to appeal to, to help in talking to people in your respective areas that they should cooperate with the NPC officials to enable them have accurate demarcation and counting needed in improving our social amenities.”

“This is not the real census but the Enumeration Area Demarcation exercise is meant to mark Ikorodu into areas for the census proper later in the year. I need all of us here to become sensitization agents and tell others that this is an important exercise; hence, we must give the officials cooperation,” Oba Shotobi charged. He also announced that there will be a town hall meeting to further sensitise residents on the matter.

The Ayangbure of lkorodu also charged elected officials, especially Council Chairmen, to ensure that Ikorodu is not under – counted in the coming census by providing necessary support for the EAD exercise.

“We are still going to call for a town hall meeting and ensure that all issues are resolved before the exercise starts properly. We are ready to provide you with all that you required to work with,” he assured the NPC officials. “I also thank all our Council Chairmen for their readiness to discharge their duties in this respect. They have been explaining to us how far they have gone in ensuring that they give you support. We must make sure that we correct our ancestral mistakes and give good legacies because history will record our roles in ensuring that Ikorodu is adequately counted. I thank the NPC Federal Commissioner and her staff for the explanations given on the exercise and you can count on our support in the next one month that you are going to work here, and your safety is guaranteed.”

The Senator representing Lagos East in the National Assembly, Senator Tokunbo Abiru, also assured the enumerators of support from Ikorodu during the exercise. In the area of security, Abiru stated that he will work with Hon. Babajimi Benson, who was also at the meeting, in providing adequate security for the NPC officials. “I came back home because of the importance of this population census, which we have all gathered here today for. We need to assist them in achieving their aims in our own interest and part of the assistance required is the advocacy for the residents to know what they want to do.

The first step before the census is the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) and my own advice is that we should all go back to our respective areas and sensitise our people to give the NPC officials maximum cooperation, which is very important. We also have to support them with logistics support, especially our councils.”

“In the area of security, I will work with my brother, Hon. Babajimi Benson, and l will also get in touch with the Commissioner of Police to provide you with adequate security and make the exercise almost seamless. This is an opportunity for us to get an adequate count of our people since the last time that census took place.”

Hon. Wasiu Adeshina, Chairman of Ikorodu Local Government, who spoke on behalf of other Council Chairmen, said that the total figure recorded for Ikorodu Local Government in the last population census, which he put at 650,000, can be captured in and around the Ikorodu garage alone. He pledged the support of all the Councils in the division for the NPC officials to enable them have a successful exercise that will reflect the accurate figure of the number of houses and people residing in Ikorodu. “The figure that was captured in Ikorodu about 12 years ago during the last census was around 650,000 and 700,000; these figures alone can be captured at Ojubode alone,” Hon. Adeshina said

 “This time around, Ikorodu people are ready to work with your body and be fully counted to get good results. Population in Ikorodu has risen to the extent that you will not be able to find forest in this division.

Even the Gberigbe axis has been populated by people with a great number of houses. You can see the strength of our division in our numerous Traditional Rulers, Chiefs, Baales and CDC/CDAs. The Local Government Chairmen, other political office holders, traditional rulers and political leaders in Ikorodu division are ready to assist your body to get effective results this time around,” he said.

Asipa Kaoli Olusanya, the Vice Chairman of the APC in Lagos East, also spoke on the need to have adequate census counting in Ikorodu to enable the government to know that the present representation is not enough.

He said, “This is an important job for all of us, especially our Councils, Baales and CDCs/CDAs. Politically, there are two House of Representatives in Surulere which is not as big as Ikorodu. Let us show them that we are greater in number and deserving more considerations for House of Representatives seats. It is important for us to officially prove that we are over 3million people.”

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