The Event That Happened on February 23, 1973

On this day, the Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, launched the publicity campaign for the national census. He told Nigerians that there was no need for any citizen to migrate to his state of origin for the forthcoming census. “You will not be helping us to have an accurate census if you leave your normal place of residence to your own state to be counted there,” he explained.

General Gowon who performed the launching at the National Hall, in Lagos, pointed out that detailed census data would serve a wide range of goals for the country. He explained further that the government and the National Census Board were determined to avoid, at all cost, “those unsavoury controversies which attended the 1963 census and helped so much to undermine public confidence in its results both at home and abroad.”

Stressing the need for effective nationwide publicity campaign during the exercise, General Gowon said that before the actual count, all citizens of the country must be made to understand the questions the census officials would ask them and also appreciate the reasons behind those questions. He also enjoined everyone to ensure that answers to the questions would be fruitful and accurate, and advised census officials to remove any fear on the part of the people that might affect the accuracy of the count.


Also on this day, the appointments of four executive staff of the Nigeria Airways Limited were terminated in Lagos. Sources said that their letters of termination, which took immediate effect, were handed over to them after the previous day’s extra-ordinary board meeting of the company in Lagos.

The top executives were: Mr. A. A. Sandy, commercial manager, who acted for the general manager during his absence from Nigeria the previous month, Mr. F.A. Adewunmi, the company’s assistant chief accountant, Mr. S.E. Enemoku, the chief cashier and funds accountant, and Mr. B.P.O. Nwajei, Boeing 707 chief coordinator.

Insider sources said the dismissal was in continuation of the new policy of the company to inject discipline amongst the staff, irrespective of positions.

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