A two day census results check in 6,000 selected areas in the Nigerian federation took place on Friday and Saturday (2 and 3 August).
SV Census officials walk through village
SV Village women
CU Official's bag
SV Officials paint women's thumbs (2 shots)
CU Male official with register
CU Baby's thumb painted
CU Official with register
SV and CU Women and children have thumbs painted (2 shots)
SV PAN officials through village
Initials OS/2008 OS/2015
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Background: A two day census results check in 6,000 selected areas in the Nigerian federation took place on Friday and Saturday (2 and 3 August).
Census officials toured villages in the selected areas, counting the people by sight and marking them off with indelible ink on the thumb.
A full census conducted last November showed Nigeria's provisional population as 79.7 million, but already the figures have provoked a controversy.
The counting of Nigerians is such a sensitive issue that ten years ago it touched off ethnic infighting that eventually led to two coups and a 30-month civil war.
More recently Nigeria's opposition leader in the last civilian parliament, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, has alleged that the 1973 census has sowed the seeds of renewed ethnic strife.
Nigerians are aware that the results will have a crucial effect on what happens in 1976, the promised date for a return to parliamentary politics. The census, and the post-census check, will indicate which of the three main rival ethnic groups - the northern Hausas, western Yorubas or eastern Ibos - are numerically dominant.
Nigeria's head of state General Yakubu Gowon recently appealed to his countrymen in a nationwide broadcast on radio and television to help make the nation's post-census enumeration check a success.