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I am a political scientist by training but at heart I am a change maker with an insatiable drive to correct the injustices that plague Nigeria.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

National Crisis... Nigeria a country without a valid national identity card

A national ID is commonplace in developed countries such as the US. The national ID is used for everything from proving your identity for a doctor's appointment to applying for a loan, to proving identification during a traffic stop. In the US it is a crime to falsify your identity. If you are found to be in possession of a stolen or falsified ID you are not in a good position. In the US, births and deaths are a matter of public registry. While this does not eliminate identity theft, it helps to greatly reduce it.

In Nigeria, however, it is commonplace for individuals to have multiple ID's. Births and deaths are not recorded. This is a very dangerous place for a nation. When a nation is in a position in which they are unable to verify a person's identity, how are they to ensure general safety and security in their country. When it comes to the seemingly simple task of voting, how does Nigeria ensure that the individuals voting are citizens? How do they ensure that the voters are only voting once?

When a country is unable to verify the identities of the people residing there, how are they to know who to be wary of, who is in their country illegally, and who is a potential safety threat? I would be very wary of living in a country in which anyone can present any name in which they like and be able to obtain a fake ID with relative ease.

Am I the only one wondering if my name and identification are being falsely used in Nigeria?