Former president John Dramani Mahama has chastised the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government for the process being used to register Ghanaians under the supervision of the National Identification Authority (NIA).
Mr Mahama who believes the criteria used for registering Ghanaians will “denationalize” many citizens who do not have birth certificates or passports.
Addressing party faithfuls at a Unity Walk of the NDC at Aflao in the Volta region on Saturday, 9 June 2018, the former President said the NIA Act that has done away with the use of voter’s ID cards, drivers’ license and baptismal certificates as proof of citizenship before they are registered is not in the interest of Ghana.
According to the NIA ACT 950 (2017), the use of birth certificates and passports are the only documents one would be allowed to use as proof of citizenship.
Ample arrangements had been made in the ACT to enable Ghanaians without birth certificates or passports to register if the those individuals are vouched for by two relatives, or by two non-relatives to be determined by the NIA.
But Mr Mahama said the process is a “deliberate attempt to denationalize some of our people [Voltarians] and we shall not accept it.”
“The ID card is going to become the most important identification to Ghanaians. If you don’t have a birth certificate or a passport you must swear an affidavit, supported by two persons who have identity as Ghanaians, if you go to one of the villages in my constituency, Bole Bamboi, perhaps nobody has a birth certificate or passport so for the 300 or 400 people with no birth certificate or passport how are you going to register them?,” he noted, adding that the NDC will kick against the said process because it is “illogical.”
“I don’t know the illogical and shortsighted and a very strong symbol of incompetence that you can’t think far and see that on the basis of what you have prescribed as criteria for qualification of national ID card you are going to disenfranchise more than 20 million of our citizens and that is unacceptable and so the NDC is going to do everything to fight for the best interest of the majority of the people to make sure they are going to be identified to be given cards so that they can be identified as bonafide Ghanaians.
He continued: “The NDC will fight on the side of majority of Ghanaians to ensure that they are identified as Ghanaians and that nobody is denationalized because of this process. This is a deliberate attempt to denationalize some of our people and we shall not accept it. We will use every legitimate instrument that is possible under a democracy to ensure that every Ghanaians is able to register.”
The walk was attended by thousands of party faithfuls in the region as well as former and current Members of Parliament (MPs).
Present at the walk were NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, Former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, former Trades Minister Ekow Spio Garbrah.