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Akufo-Addo Supports Birth Cert, Passport for National ID

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President Nana Akufo-Addo has backed the National Identification Authority’s (NIA) decision to use birth certificates and passports as requirements in the ongoing national identification registration exercise.

According to him, the birth certificate and passport are more credible documentary requirements for establishing nationality or citizenship.

Speaking at a 2018 graduation ceremony of the Ashesi University on Saturday, he said “I do not think that there are more credible, basic, documentary 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.”

It would be recalled that the minority in parliament boycotted the ongoing national identification exercise.

According to them, the registration being undertaken by the National Identification Authority is flout with illegalities as well as the authority not being forthright with the cost of the project.

Recounting minority’s reaction against the national identification exercise, Akufo-Addo noted that “the project has become embroiled, once again, in another of those full-scale manufactured storms deliberately engineered to slow down progress in what Government tries to do.”

He posited that it is a well-known fact that many non-Ghanaians are in possession of voter’s cards obtained by offering NHIS cards as proof of identity.

This, according to him, is why the Supreme Court handed down a ruling that the NHIS card should not be used as a form of identification to register for a voter’s ID card.

President Akufo-Addo also recounted how the minority members were in support of the National Identity Register (Amendment) Bill when it was presented to the house, stressing that they are being hypocritical.

According to him, some sentiments made by the minority in acceptance of the bill allowed the house to accept, unanimously, the Report of the Committee.

The report stated amongst others; “The Committee also noted that the Bill seeks to do away with the use of voters’ identity cards, drivers’ license and baptismal certificates as proof of citizenship. It, however maintains the use of birth certificates and passports. It further introduces residence permits and other documents evidencing acquired citizenship. Officials of the NIA informed the Committee that the changes are consistent with the decision of the Supreme Court in Abu Ramadan v Attorney-General delivered in May, 2016.”

Touching on the language of de-nationalisation made by former President Mahama, and threats of civil war made by NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the President described the comments as base forms of self-serving demagoguery.

“I am confident that the good sense of the Ghanaian people, and the vigilance of the law enforcement agencies will, together, be sufficient to defeat any ill-conceived, destructive adventure for achieving narrow, parochial, partisan ends. The lust for power should not cloud one’s sense of judgement. To call yourself a Ghanaian means you must be a responsible citizen,” the President added.

By: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum

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