Authorities concerned are calling on individuals to go and collect their ID cards where they drop an application nationwide.
Startling statistics from the General Delegation for National Security (DGSN) in Yaounde show that about 678,000 National Identity (ID) Cards have been abandoned in different Police Identification Posts in the country. In spite of efforts made by the General Delegation for National Security for individuals to come for their ID cards after application, the problem seems not to change as more and more of these cards are seen piled in various Police Stations in the country.
In a field tour to different Police Identification Posts in Yaounde, Cameroon Tribune (CT) observed that the situation is quite disturbing. At the Police Identification Post situated at the Public Security Police Station No 3 at the Nkolndongo neighbourhood in Yaounde, the Chief of the Post, 2nd Grade Assistant Superintendent of Police, Lydie-Ariane Zona Ewang said ID cards produced as far back as 2011 are still stockpiled at the police station. There are cases where some ID cards have even been abandoned at the identification office until they expire, Zona Ewang explained. The huge stock of ID cards has made it difficult for Zona Ewang and her team to properly classify newly produced ones. At the Nkolndongo Identification Post, some 11,000 ID cards have been abandoned amongst which are 8,000 produced using the old system and 3,000 produced using the new identification system. The situation is not different at the Central Police Station No. 1 in the city of Yaounde. Just as the identification post is crowded with people applying for ID cards, so too are the different cupboards of the ID office full with ID cards produced years back. In an attempt, through phone, to get people to come and collect their ID cards, police sources said some individuals asked if it was an obligation to come for their IDs given that it is their money they have spent and not that of the police department.
Discussing with the Secretary General (SG) at the General Delegation of National Security, Dominique Baya, he said his department cannot understand why each day people rush to various Police Identification Posts to establish ID cards, but never return to collect them after they have been produced. Although delays in obtaining the National Identity Card have been reduced, Dominique Baya explained that some 600,000 ID cards produced using the old production system are still found in different Police Stations in the country. He also lamented that although the presidential decree to establish a new National Identity card using the new identification system dates back barely a year, already some 78,000 ID cards produced using the new system have been abandoned in different identification posts in the country. Dominique Baya noted that even if someone has misplaced his receipt, the head of an identification post always have a way to identify the person and hand over his/her ID card. As such people are called to go for their ID cards after application.
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Jean Claude Madjeng: “I Collected My ID On My First Rendezvous”
Inhabitant Denk, Mbam and Inonbou Division.
“I came to Yaounde from Denk in the Mbam and Inonbou Division some 34 Kilometres from the town of Bafia in the Centre Region to collect my Identity Card. I deposited a request for an Identity Card in the month of April 2017. August 11, 2017 was the first rendezvous I made to come and collect my ID. I am very glad that in my first attempt to collect my ID, I was given it without any delay. Instead of coming for my ID after three months, I took more than three months because I stay far from Yaounde and travelling from Denk to Yaounde is difficult during the raining season.”
Nnanga Afa’a Marie Louisette epouse Owoutou: “Without An ID Card, I Am Not Free”
“I applied for an ID card some five months back.This is not the first time I am coming for my ID card. I have been at the Nkolndongo Identification Post twice to collect my new ID card. The second time I came for my ID card I was given an appointment to come back after two weeks. I have not waited for the two weeks to arrive because I feel my ID card should be available in my absence. Without an ID card, I am not free.”
Vanessa Magadoum: « Imprudent de marcher sans pièce d’identité »
« J’ai déposé mon dossier de demande d’établissement de la carte nationale d’identité en mai 2017. Comme la validité du récépissé est de trois mois, je n’ai pas trouvé la nécessité de passer avant. Maintenant, c’est périmé et je comprends que c’est imprudent de marcher sans pièce d’identité. C’est pourquoi, je suis là pour retirer ma CNI, surtout que je dois voyager et par ces temps de contrôle assidu des pièces d’identité, il serait maladroit de circuler d’un coin du pays à l’autre sans ce document. »
Carine Tchakounté: « Maintenant, il y a une contrainte »
« Cela fait plus de cinq mois que j’ai déposé mon dossier. Je n’ai pas eu le temps de venir chercher ma carte. Je suis commerçante et le temps est précieux pour moi. Maintenant, il y a une contrainte : j’ai perdu mon téléphone et je dois reconduire ma puce. Chez l’opérateur de la téléphonie, j’ai été informée que cette opération ne peut pas se faire sans la CNI».
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