THE CENSUS CRISIS OF 1962/1963
General population census was held in the country in 1962 but the result generated a barrage of criticism. There were allegations of rigging and sharp practices and a call for its cancellation. Consequently, the census was cancelled and the Prime Minister directed another exercise through the Census Board in 1963.
The new census took place in November 1963 and the results were finalised in February 1964. The result is as follows.
- Northern region = 29,777,968
- Eastern region = 12,388,646
- Western region = 10,278,500
- Mid-west region = 2,533,337
- Lagos = 675,352
- TOTAL POPULATION = 55,653,821
These figures were also criticised and generated a heated controversy. Meanwhile, the federal government, Northern region and Western region accepted the result.
The eastern and the mid-western regions did not accept the result. They alleged that it was full of irregularities and that the figures were unfairly inflated. Attempt by the eastern region to upturn the result at the Supreme Court was met with an unfavourable verdict as the court ruled in favour of the federal government and the result became substantiated. This figure became the status quo used as the basis for developmental projection, allocation of parliamentary seats, state creation, and so on.
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