General Secretary of the opposition NDC says his party is not ready to compromise their position on the National Identification Project ongoing in the country.
Johnson Asiedu Nketia who was addressing NDC youth in Kumasi encouraged them to take the matter seriously and not relent since in the eyes of the party, it remained an extremely important issue.
He says the NDC’s focus is to make the National Identification project a National one and not an NPP party project.
“We are serious about this issue because it can bring untold mayhem into this country”, he said.
He argues that the NDC is not against Ghana undertaking a National Identification Project and adds that the importance of such a project cannot be overemphasized.
He however says the NPP is trying to peddle their parochial partisan agenda via the National Identification Project.
“This project is like a cutlass…it can be used to farm and at the same time wreak havoc in the wrong hands”, he explained and charged the youth of the NDC to understand the issues and champion them vehemently.
Nana Addo has disappointed
Mr. Asiedu Nketia said Nana Addo has disappointed Ghanaians as far as the National ID Project is concerned. “Former President Rawlings laid some foundation for this, Former President Kufour also made great progress howbeit tainted as we discovered later, Former President Mills and Mahama also did some. One would expect that Nana Addo with the benefit of the experiences of all these regimes will do an excellent job, but what are we witnessing?” he asked. He accused Nana Addo of retrogressing the progress chalked so far.
“We are lucky we have a starting point from which we can identify a section of the population as being Ghanaians using the voters’ ID card”. He said the register has been refined and certified as clean by the courts. Everyone who is 18 years and above as at 2016 is present in the register. Those who traveled can be added to the register based on agreed modalities when they return. Our next big problem would have been those aged 0-18. For these people, their parents are mostly alive. How come voters’ ID is taken out of the IDs needed to certify that you are Ghanaian in favor of passports and birth certificates? How many of us have passports in this room? You say only 2million of the about 30million Ghanaians have passports. Only 7 million people have birth certificates and to get a passport, you need a birth certificate. So all those with passport form part of the 7 million who have birth certificates. How can you sideline 23 million people in favor of 7 million who have birth certificates?”
He explained that the Voters’ register, which is also biometric, is done with witnesses from the various political parties. “It is absurd how the NPP wants to sideline such an important foundation. Who serves as a witness during the acquisition of a birth certificate?” he queried and added that a fake birth certificate can be used to acquire a Ghanaian passport.
He was also uncomfortable that “All the workers at the births and deaths registry as well passport offices are employees under the ministry of local government and hence can be influenced to tow the government’s line”.
He says the NDC is resolved to oppose any modalities that reject the use of the voter ID card. “Not only will we not participate but we will not allow it to go on. We will fight it. Everyone should be concerned”.
“We want it to be non-political. They are trying to do something that will replace the voters register to enable them put up a good showing in the next election” he alleged.
NPP shifting the argument
The general Secretary of the NDC accused the NPP of constantly shifting the argument when the issue of National Identification is raised. “The importance of this project is not lost on us. Our argument is not about the relevance of the project at all” he said and said however that the NPP does not want to go into the issues and have hence reduced the argument to whether or not the NDC think it is important.
National ID issue emotional
The General Secretary of the NDC insists that the right to citizenship is inherent and cannot be given or taken away by any government. “Issues regarding National ID can bring great unrest as in the case of Cote d’Ivoire. We want to make sure no one is deprived his citizenship. Citizenship is not like a shirt that you can just take off and put on another. If you are deprived of your citizenship, you cannot just become a citizen of another country.”
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