…says no Nigerian should pay for Identity Card
A major religious crisis was averted on Wednesday in Owena-Ijesa town, Ondo State, courtesy of the timely intervention of the State Coordinator of the National Identity Management Commission, Mr Wale Agbotoba.
Officials of the NIMC at the Enrolment Center at the Owena-Ijesa king’s palace had insisted on Monday and Tuesday when the exercise started, that Muslim women must either remove their Hijab or remained uncaptured, even after they had been made to pay N200.00 for the forms.
This was resisted by the women in Hijab as well as their husbands who insisted that women have been captured and registered across the country without such demand, describing the situation as embarrassing and the demand as ridiculous.
Mrs Sofiyah Moshood who spoke on behalf of other women with our Correspondent at the center said, “The agent of this exercise asked that all the women that use Hijab should remove it before they will be allowed to participate but we insisted that is not possible.
“The exercise is a nationwide one and we have not heard from any of our colleagues elsewhere that Hijab must be removed. After all, we did International passport with Hijab, we processed drivers licence with it and we obtained Voter Card without removing our Hijab, so why will this be different. More so, they are even selling the form for N200.00,” she said.
One of the men whose wife was denied registration AbdulAzeez Oladoja wondered why a federal agency will sell dummy forms which content would soon be uploaded into the system for citizens.
“I was also surprised to discover that the agent of the NIMC here at Owena did not allow our women to participate because they use Hijab and they even collected N200 from each woman. Our people are trying to tell them that they are not supposed to collect any money with what we saw on top of the form that, ‘This form is free of charge’ and it is also written that if any body ask for the money we should call this number (07002255646). How can a government official be that bold and contravene what is boldly written on the form,” he queried.
When the Renaissance visited the Ondo State office of the NIMC at Igbatoro Road, Akure, the state Coordinator Mr Agbotoba denied giving such order that asked Muslim women to remove Hijab before taking their passport photograph.
When told that the officials at Owena claimed the N200.00 was only being used to fuel the generating set, the Coordinator said such claim is illegal and he had instructed them against such.
“It is not wrong if the community assists, but it is wrong to monetise the system and exploit the poor masses. The only problem that may warrant money could be lamination and this is not compulsory on anyone.” he said.
Agbotoba asked the public to feel free to report any erring staff or infractions to the head office. He urged members of the public to feel free to call him on 08037175984.
Renaissance however gathered that, as at Wednesday, while Muslim women in Hijab were being allowed to partake in the exercise, forms were still being sold to members of the community at the rate of N200.00.