I Did Not Endorse Voter’s ID as Proof for Citizenship – Kufuor
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has debunked reports that he showed his support for the inclusion of the voter ID cards as part of requirements for registration for the Ghana card.
According to him, he believes the National Identification Authority (NIA) is working in the remits of the law; and he cannot, therefore, question its authority.
A statement issued Thursday and signed by the Senior Aide and Spokesperson to Mr Kufuor, Dr. Kwabena Osei-Adubofour, sought to clarify the media reports saying that, “all that he called for was for all Ghanaians to take part in the exercise and that if any group feels that the processes are defective, they should take part and protest from within, in due course.”
Below is the full statement
Kufuor Statement on the use of Voters’ ID Card for NIA Registration
The attention of former President John Agyekum Kufuor has been drawn to an erroneous report circulating in the media attributed to him to the effect that he endorses the use of voters’ identity cards in lieu of the primary identity documents of (a) a Ghanaian passport or (b) a birth certificate attesting Ghanaian citizenship for establishing Ghanaian identity, for the purpose of registering for the Ghana Card due to be issued by the National Identification Authority (NIA).
Former President Kufuor would want to make it abundantly clear that he does not in any way call for the substitution of a voters’ ID card for either a Ghanaian passport or a birth certificate in establishing Ghanaian identity in order to register for an NIA Ghana card. He does not under any circumstances impugn the authority of the NIA to determine the basis of one’s proving one’s citizenship to register for the Ghana Card, as he is satisfied that the NIA is doing so in accordance with the enabling legislation passed by the sovereign parliament of Ghana.
The former president wishes to make it known that all that he called for was for all Ghanaians to take part in the exercise and that if any group feels that the processes are defective, they should take part and protest from within, in due course. The legal definition of who is a Ghanaian is not a matter of politics and people should desist from making it so. In any case, it should be noted that the NIA enabling law was unanimously passed and it obtained a bi-partisan praise from Ghana’s parliamentarians.
What is reassuring is that the NIA law has two key processes by which those who do not possess either of the two primary citizenship documents can vouch for their Ghanaian citizenship. And they are that:
1. A relative of an applicant can vouch for the applicant before a Commissioner of Oaths who will be part of the registration set-up.
2. Where the applicant has no known relative, two persons who know the applicant can vouch for him/her before a Commissioner of Oaths.
His point however is that the parliament of Ghana that passed the enabling law for the exercise must have considered the reality that the landmark ruling of the Supreme Court of Ghana in the Abu Ramadan case in 2016 required the voters’ register to be cleansed.
Once again, President Kufuor wants to call on all Ghanaians to avail themselves of this opportunity to obtain a Ghana Card which will streamline governance efficiently and avail the citizen easy access to his or her entitlements.
Dr. Kwabena Osei-Adubofour
Senior Aide and Spokesman to former President John Kufuor