By Temitope Akintoye,
Hundreds of Secondary schools’ students and other applicants of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) have lamented over series of hardships National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) made them to undergo in accessing National Identity Card registration as mandated by examination board, and been part of criteria for all applicants writing 2020 JAMB.
They complained that, rather than the matriculation body and NIMC making perfect registration process, applicants were subjected to unnecessary hardship that could be avoided.
It was learned that part of the challenges faced by applicants was NIMC’s rejection of those in need of registration, indicating that the agency was not prepared for huge turn out of applicants witnessed after JAMB announced criteria for registration.
Aside from rejection of applicants, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), who shares same premises with NIMC’s Lagos head office in Ikeja, allegedly attacked applicants, shooting teargas canisters to disperse the crowd that besieged their premises.
Due to the singular act, several applicants sustained different degrees of injuries while trying to avoid been chocked by fumes from the teargas canister.
Findings by TheGuild revealed that after the attack, several applicants could not wait within the premises to avoid another attack from the law enforcement agency while waiting for NIMC to capture their data. Rather, they find their ways of staying within NIMC vicinity by spending the night in Ikeja City Mall, Alausa Central Mosque and other outfits within the axis.
Understanding that they have no other option of completing the registration exercise, it was gathered that the remaining within the axis would also afford them an opportunity to resume on queue as early as possible and to stand a better chance at the start of daily exercise.
In an interview with one of the applicants, who decried the pitiful situation they had found themselves in, stated that JAMB and NIMC should have made special arrangements for applicants since they knew the registration process was allegedly ineffective.
“They knew we are going to be here, in fact, they called us here so they should have made arrangements to accommodate our huge numbers not leaving us in the sun from morning till night with nothing to show for it.”
Minutes after NIMC commenced registration, following appeals from several quarters, other challenges arise for applicants as they were forced to stand on queues for several hours. Our correspondent, who visited the premises, learned that there were two unending queues approved for applicants.
The queues were to separate those who had managed to complete their bio-metric capturing process from those who had, so far, been unable to make any headway on the exercise.
One of the student, who identified herself as Simi, lamented that weather and long hours on queue has frustrated several applicants to lost hopes in the exercise.
She said: ” I have been here since 3:00 am. I even came late because some people slept inside Shoprite compound and got here as early as 1:30 am. I have not done capturing but I am still hopeful”.
Another applicant, identified as David, on the other hand, disclosed that he has been forced to come for the exercise daily.
Though David had captured his bio-metrics but was compelled to spend long hours on a non-moving queue in hopes of receiving the identity card slip.
“Yesterday, I regretted coming because some boys started fighting. Everybody was frustrated but some of us managed to keep our cool. When some boys could not take it anymore a fight started. For the first time in my life i witnessed tear gas live as we all panicked and ran for our lives”.
Also frustrated by NIMC registration process, Salawu, an artisan, explained that he was there simply because he had no other form of identification apart from his voter card and had felt that getting the national identity card was a good idea.
“This place is always choked up, even before all these students came to join us. When I get tired I’ll soon leave and not only me. See how many we were this morning? The queue is not moving so people are leaving”.