Population census is a contentious issue in Nigeria because population figure are used as a basis for sharing of revenue and other electoral issues. There was a country wide population census conducted in May 1962, this population census was politicized mainly because the 1952/1953 census gave the northern region 9 seat in the hose of representative while the southern region got 2 seat. The May 1962 census was therefore seen as an opportunity to control the house of representative. After the census, there was a tremendous increase in the population of the east and west and a decrease in that of the north. The figure was not accepted by the northern region and the eastern region was accused of falsifying the census figure. This controversy paralyzed the federal parliament for three days until the Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Belewa promised to resolve the issue. He nullified and cancel the census result and asked for a new census to be conducted in 1963. In November 1963, a new census was conducted and the figure for Nigeria population was 55.7 million with the north having 29.8 million, the east with 12.4 million, west with 10.3 million, mid-west with 2.5 million and Lagos with 0.7 million. The eastern and mid-western region rejected the figure but the figure was accepted by the northern region and western region. The eastern region took the case to Supreme Court to seek for declaration of the result null and void but the Supreme Court dismissed the action and the figure became official.
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