Sokoto — Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar, yesterday advised the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to engage traditional rulers on sensitisation campaigns across the country, to avoid any misconception about the national identification registration exercise.
The monarch gave the advice yesterday, when the management of NIMC led by its Director General, Mr. Chris Onyemenam, paid him a courtesy call in his palace in Sokoto.
According to him, the call became necessary, in view of the cultural, social and religious differences in the country.
He maintained that the commission should embark on massive awareness campaigns to enable people be aware of the registration exercise.
The Sultan noted that the inability of governments to carry along traditional leaders in the implementation of programmes was responsible for the failures in the past.
He averred that due to cultural and religious differences, traditional leaders should be engaged in the enrolment exercise to ensure that people were carried along in the implementation of the exercise.
"Reach out to traditional leaders across the country because it is the most effective way of reaching to the people so as to let them know the importance of this project. The traditional institution is unique, the traditional leaders are closer to the people and will help a great deal in sensitizing Nigerians on the benefits of the registration exercise," he said.
He described the data base initiative of the commission as a good development, saying it recorded success in the United State and other countries.
The monarch, however, lauded the commission, for allowing photographs of Muslim women to be taken while putting on their (Hi jab) veil during enrolment.
Earlier, Onyemenam had told the monarch that they were in the state to flag off the national identification enrolment exercise.
Onyemenam, who was represented by the Deputy Director General of the Commission, Mr. Aliyu Aziz, said Sokoto State was selected for the pilot scheme in the zone.
Aziz explained that the commission was established to carry out registration of citizens and legally resident foreigners.
He stated that all those registered would be assigned a national identity number for life, which was similar to social security number in the United States.
He said the new technology being used could not be tempered by fraudulent persons, adding that it would enable the commission take pictures of Muslim women, while putting on their veil.
"The technology we are using will allow us take pictures of Muslim women without removing their veil and will also prevent fraudulent persons from breaking into the system," Aziz stressed.