The Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has urged the National Identification Authority (NIA) to allow Ghanaians to use their voter ID cards, in addition to passports and birth certificates, in registering for the Ghana Card.
Per Act 950 (2017), the NIA says it recognises only passports and birth certificates as documents of citizenship, thus, will rely on those two in its registration exercise.
But the NDC complains that limited people to those two documents will result in sidelining many Ghanaians from registering.
The party’s FEC on Tuesday, 29 May, met said it granted audience to the Ghana Card Team led by NIA Executive Secretary Professor Ken Attafuah, in relation to the matter.
A statement issued by the party, signed by General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said: “The FEC of the NDC has made it abundantly clear that the implementation of the provisions of the Act will deny the vast majority of the population the opportunity to acquire the Card”.
The party said it has “expressed its deep concerns about the limitation it will impose on ordinary Ghanaians who, through no fault of theirs”, do not own passports and also have not birth certificates.
This current dispensation, the party argues, “will undermine the legitimacy of the Voter ID Card as declared by the Supreme Court in its ruling vis-a-vis the Abu Ramadan case in 2016”.
“The NDC is of the considered view that this new exercise will not promote the stability of the state, as it will only seek to make some Ghanaians become more Ghanaian than others in direct contravention of the 1992 Constitution.
“While reiterating its support for the provision of Identity cards for Ghanaians, FEC expressed concerns at certain provisions of the Act, which will prevent fellow citizens from the process of registration.
“FEC takes note of the fact that certain provisions of the Act, which were passed under a Certificate of Urgency, will impose limitations on ordinary Ghanaians who do not possess passports or birth certificates. The FEC considers as cumbersome, the process of verification of Ghanaians without the two IDs.
“The FEC reiterates its demand to the NIA and we wish by this release to call for a review of the amendment to Act 750 (2008), and ensure that the Voter ID card is added to the set of identification documents required for registration, even as the NIA is working to resolve its technical issues which prevented the commencement of the exercise yesterday [Monday, 28 May]”, the party said.
It also said it was “alarmed at the cost of $1.2 billion that this project will cost the people of Ghana, as it is not in consonance with President Akufo-Addo’s often touted mantra of ‘Protecting The Public Purse’, and we are calling on all well-meaning Ghanaians to demand answers relating to issues bordering on value for money”.