Na­tional ID card: Borno gov ac­cuses sol­diers, po­lice­men of ex­tor­tion

The Punch - - NEWS - Kay­ode Idowu, Maiduguri

The Borno State Gov­er­nor, Prof. Baba­gana Umara, has al­leged that sol­diers and po­lice­men man­ning Borno high­ways are ex­tort­ing his peo­ple.

The gov­er­nor made the al­le­ga­tion af­ter find­ing mo­torists stranded in Njimtilo where a gate was con­structed on the high­way to check the peo­ple com­ing in and mov­ing out of Maiduguri.

Umara al­leged that sol­diers and po­lice­men col­lected N1,000 bribe from trav­ellers who did not have na­tional iden­tity cards.

Speak­ing on top of his voice, the said, “how can you sub­ject peo­ple to this kind of tor­ture in the name of Na­tional ID card? And you are all here col­lect­ing N500 and N1,000 from poor trav­ellers who don’t have na­tional ID card.”

A sol­dier that tried to of­fer an ex­pla­na­tion was shouted down by the gov­er­nor, who said, “No this is not right. The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has not cre­ated an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for our peo­ple to get their na­tional ID cards and you are here col­lect­ing money from peo­ple for not hav­ing what the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has not pro­vided for all.”

The gov­er­nor said he had re­ceived sev­eral re­ports about the al­leged ex­tor­tion at the Maiduguri check­point and asked one of his aides to call the head of the mil­i­tary coun­terin­sur­gency op­er­a­tion in the North-east (Op­er­a­tion Lafiya Dole), Maj. Gen. Oluse­gun Adeniyi.

The gov­er­nor spoke to Adeniyi, say­ing, “Theater Com­man­der where are you? … Right now I’m at the check­point near the state univer­sity and we have thou­sands of peo­ple stranded and your peo­ple are here col­lect­ing money from peo­ple be­cause they don’t have Na­tional ID card. Why?”

he sub­se­quently or­dered the se­cu­rity men to open the gates on both sides to al­low all trav­ellers to move.

Some of the trav­ellers who spoke to jour­nal­ists, al­leged that they have been held at the gate for sev­eral hours with­out any ex­pla­na­tion.

One of them, a bus driver, Isa Adamu, said, “I left Da­maturu since 9am and I ar­rive here at about 11am. But I am still here at 3pm.”

A woman, who said she was trav­el­ling from Bauchi to

Maiduguri, said, “I was asked to give N500 be­cause I don’t have ID card.”

Adeniyi, who rushed to the scene, told the gov­er­nor that the grid­lock was not caused by sol­diers at the check­point.

he said it was as a re­sult of an at­tack some­where on the high­way early in the day.

he promised the gov­er­nor to in­ves­ti­gate the al­le­ga­tion of ex­tor­tion to see if it was true.

But this fur­ther in­fu­ri­ated the gov­er­nor, who said, “It is true, I saw them with my eyes, I spoke with peo­ple that were asked to give money!”

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