14 June 2018

Ghana: Passport, Birth Certicate for Ghana Card Inadequate - Minority Leader

The Minority in Parliament says it is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the voter identity card was considered a legitimate reference document in the ongoing national identification registration exercise.

In this vein, the minority hinted that it would seek interpretation of the Supreme Court in its earlier ruling in the Abu Ramadan Vs Electoral Commission in the run-up to the 2016 election.

In that ruling, the apex court upheld that the voters' identity card was one of the documents to determine a Ghanaian's citizenship in line with Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution.

The National Identification Authority (NIA), briefing Parliament in Accra on Tuesday on the ongoing exercise insisted that only those who possess Ghanaian passports and birth certificates will make it onto the national identification register.

This decision, the authority said, was in line with the National Identification Registration Regulation (LI 2111) as amended in 2017.

But addressing journalists in Parliament yesterday, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu said "we find the reference document of only the passport and birth certificate inadequate and insufficient."

According to the Tamale South representative, limiting the reference document to a passport and birth certificate as a proof of citizenship would deny majority of Ghanaians the opportunity to make it onto the national identification register.

In his estimation, only seven million Ghanaians possess a birth certificate out of a population of 29 million people.

Describing his caucus as "responsible," Haruna Iddrisu said they were in full support of a national identification system which is inclusive of all Ghanaians.

"It is our strong view that the voters' identity card which has produced the governments of Presidents Rawlings, Kufuor, Mahama and Akufo-Addo is a legitimate reference document [and has been recognised by the] Supreme Court" Haruna stated.

Explaining their boycott of the exercise, Haruna Iddrisu said it was to ensure that "there was no denial of legitimate Ghanaian citizen having their due to be part of a national identification system."

He said excluding the more than 22 million Ghanaian would bring into question the utility of the exercise being undertaken adding the cards would not be a dependable and reliable data source.


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