Former president John Mahama has alleged the Akufo-Addo government is plotting to “denationalize” a section of Ghanaians with the Ghana card.
According to him, the criteria one needs to meet before being issued with the national card under the supervision of the National Identification Authority (NIA) are too stringent since majority of Ghanaians do not have birth certificate or passport.
According to the NIA, per the ACT 950 (2017), the use of only Passports and Birth Certificates will be the base documents for the creation of the Ghana Card. However, the opposition National Democratic Congress has not been in support of that and wants the government to consider those with Voter’s ID cards.
Throwing his weight behind his party, Mr. Mahama stated the government is being adamant because it is a“deliberate attempt to denationalize some of our people and we shall not accept it.”
Speaking at the final Unity Walk of the NDC in the Volta region on Saturday, 9 June 2018, he said it is “illogical” and short-sightedness on the part of the government to turn deaf ears on suggestions from the opposition.
He said: “The ID card is going to become the most important identification to Ghanaians. If you don’t have a birth certificate or a passport you must swear an affidavit, supported by two persons who have identity as Ghanaians, if you go to one of the villages in my constituency – Bole Bamboi – perhaps nobody has a birth certificate or passport so for the 300 or 400 people with no birth certificate or passport how are you going to register them?”
Mr. Mahama assured Ghanaians that the NDC will protest the move until government reviews the criteria.
“I don’t know the illogical and shortsighted and a very strong symbol of incompetence that you can’t think far and see that on the basis of what you have prescribed as criteria for qualification of 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 bonafide Ghanaians.
“The NDC will fight on the side of majority of Ghanaians to ensure that they are identified as Ghanaians and that nobody is denationalized because of this process. This is a deliberate attempt to denationalize 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 Ghanaians is able to register,” the former president remarked.
The Ghana Card is currently being piloted at selected institutions.