Few weeks after the military introduced operation positive identification meant to ensure that residents of the North-east are properly identified while on transit, investigation by FOMBINATIMES has unearthed that residents of some Adamawa villages have to part with a princely N10,000 before they can get the National Identity Card.
Our reporter who was on a fact-finding mission in Michika and Madagali local governments of Adamawa State which were overrun by Boko Haram insurgents at the peak of their onslaught scooped that residents of the two areas have to part with cash ranging between N5,000 to N10,000 before they could get National Identity Card.
A resident of Michika who simply identifies himself as Malam Abubakar said; ” Officials of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in collusion with immigration officials, police and soldiers are not conducting any form of screening but collecting cash in lieu.
“The national ID card exercise, have been converted to an avenue where huge cash transactions are taking place. It is only people with cash that are attended to while those without cash are left stranded.
“Our fear is that Boko Haram elements to whom cash present no obstacle, will be given an unassailable latitude to get the National Identity Card at the detriment of innocent Nigerians who are being harassed by the security operatives over non-possession of the card.
“Some Boko Haram members were recently nabbed with a huge cash haul triggering fears since the National ID card is a cash and carry affair, the insurgents stand a better chance of getting it.
“If this challenge of monetising the process is not addressed, then only Boko Haram insurgents will get the National ID card,” he said.
The spokesman of the Nigerian Immigration Service, (NIS), Adamawa State command Ya’uba Muhammad said they were not aware of the development but promised to investigate the complaint, adding that anyone found wanton will not be spared.
“Our officials don’t deal with forms let alone cash we are not aware of the development, but we will investigate and will punish anyone found wanton or found perpetrating any form of indiscretion,” he said.
In the same vein, the police public relations officer, Adamawa State command, DSP Sulaiman Nguroje said they have received such report and will launch investigation to ascertain its veracity and bring perpetrators to book if their culpability is established.