President Akufo-Addo has replied the opposition NDC's comments about the registration and issuance of the Ghana card.
According to Akufo-Addo, it is unfortunate for the former President John Mahama and the Minority in Parliament to claim that using only birth certificates and passports as base documents for the registration of Ghanaians for the Ghana Card will de-nationalise over 20 million Ghanaians.
At the last NDC unity Walk in the Volta region, John Mahama said there were attempts by the Akufo-Addo government to disenfranchise and de-nationalise millions of Ghanaians using “illogical” criteria for the registration and acquisition of the Ghana Card.
John Mahama then assured the public that the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) will fight on the side of Ghanaians to ensure they are identified and not de-nationalised by the National Identification Authority (NIA) in the process of acquiring the Ghana Card.
“This is a deliberate attempt to de-nationalise 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 Ghanaian is able to register”.
If you go to one of the villages in my constituency [Bole] and let me use an example, Hodiyiri, it’s a small community in Bole Bamboi, perhaps, nobody in Hodiyiri has a birth certificate or passport so for the 300 or 400 people in Hodiyiri with no birth certificate or passport to prove that they are Ghanaians, how are you going to register those people in Hodiyiri?
And, so, I don’t know, it is illogical and short-sighted and a very strong symbol of incompetence that you cannot think far and see that on the basis of what you have prescribed as a criteria for qualification of the 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 bona fide Ghanaians”.
However, speaking at the 2018 Ashesi University congregation, President Akufo-Addo said: “I do not think that there are more credible basic document requirements for establishing nationality or citizenship than a birth certificate or a passport. An appropriate acceptable mechanism has been provided in the law to verify the claims of those who have neither.”
“What then are we to make of the outrage being orchestrated by some high-ranking leaders of the opposition and some members of the minority in parliament when all the evidence points to their enthusiastic support of the national identity register amendment bill when it came before them in the House. I pray that we abandon giving politics a bad name and support this exercise to proceed rapidly to a successful end,” he added.
The president also spoke about threats by some executives of the NDC in Ashaiman to disrupt the registration process, describing it as “ill-conceived, destructive adventures.”
“The language of de-nationalisation or threats of civil war, are, to say the least, extremely unfortunate. I am confident that the good sense of the Ghanaian people, the vigilance of the law enforcement agencies, will, together be sufficient to defeat any ill-conceived, destructive adventure for achieving narrow parochial interest. The lust for power should not cloud one’s sense of judgement. To call yourself a Ghanaian means you must be a responsible citizen,” he said.