By Tata Mbunwe
Producing a new national identification card is becoming a nightmare for several Cameroonians, some of who have been unable to get original IDs over one year after they applied for them.
Disgusted with the “unnecessary situation,” some of them have opted that government should decentralize the identity card making process by leaving the task to regional authorities.
Speaking to MMI, a Buea-based business person whose only name was gotten as Ekema said he applied for a new ID card in 2019. 21 months after, he is still to receive his ID card.
For a year and a half now, he has extended the ID receipts six times. Even so, the original identification “has not arrived”, he says.
“They extended the laissez-passer (temporal ID card) until there was no space left on it for the commissioner to sign an extension. Therefore, they added an artificial paper to it… I think the best way out of this issue is that ID cards should be produced in the various regions to stop the piling of IDs in Yaoundé. The government should authorize the institutions at various regions to make Identity cards so that when your ID card does not come after some time you just go to the regional office and verify instead of waiting and waiting…,” Ekema opted.
National identification documents are currently being produced at the national police headquarters in Yaoundé but people think regions should be empowered to do this task.
According to Dr. Willy, a medical practitioner in Buea, the identification process should be left at the regional level and police officers should set up means of signaling people when their original document is out.
This is a similar opinion held by Alfred Fuh, a food vendor in Buea who also faced difficulties in getting his identification document.
Amidst the imbroglio, an attempt to get police officers to comment on the issue proved futile. However, a police officer at the Second District Police Station in Molyko, Buea, said in a brief comment that it is not their fault that the identification documents witness production delays. He said people with persistent delays in the document call 1550 to enquire about the availability of the document.