Alhaji Saidu, who spoke to Sunday Trust in a telephone interview yesterday, said the issuance of identity cards to a particular ethnic group under the guise of beefing up security amounted to discrimination.
He said, “In as much as we don’t support the activities of Boko Haram, we want to also state that the Imo State Government has no right to issue I.D card to non-indigenes in its state. The only body authorized to issue I.D card is the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC. Governor Rochas Okorocha can issue I.D cards to the people of Imo State not the Northerners. I know that the intention is genuine. It is aimed at checking the activities of Boko Haram.
“But in other way round, it amounts to discrimination against one particular ethnic group. If the state government wants to identify the Hausa leaving in Imo, they can do that by consulting the leaders of the Hausa community in Imo State.
“In Arewa, for instance, we have I.D cards which are issued by our people. Hausa community leaders are in a better position to identify the true and genuine Hausa people in the State. They know who is who and they can also identify bad eggs among themselves. Issuance of I.D can even expose an Hausa man to danger.
“We are one Nigeria and our constitution guarantees freedom of movement and residence. A Nigerian can reside in any part of the country he or she wants to reside as long as such residence does not constitute threat to lives and properties of the people,” he said.