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Let’s protect our citizenship

BY: Daily Graphic
Ghanaian Passport
Ghanaian Passport

Being Ghanaian is always a pride.

In spite of the challenges in the system, the average Ghanaian is happy about his or her citizenship because Ghanaians are collectively hospitable and peaceful.

It is not uncommon to find a Ghanaian coming behind the popular saying: “Let it pass for God’s sake” (‘Fama Nyame’), a common denominator which defines the convivial nature of the Ghanaian and how forgiving he or she can be.

This kindheartedness, coupled with a well-cultured society, is what binds society together and gets it to soar higher above challenges and systemic bottlenecks to keep heads above water. Ghana also has some of the best educational systems in Africa that makes it attractive to many across the continent.

On the global stage, Ghana’s performance on many fronts — the economy, participation in global peace efforts, producing international diplomats and corporate executives — places it in good light among the comity of nations.

For such reasons, the quest to be a Ghanaian citizen is growing, especially among West Africans. There are a good number of non-Ghanaians who hold Ghanaian passports. Since they are not true nationals, any misbehaviour on their part goes to tarnish the image of the country.

The country has recently suffered some setbacks because some nationals of other countries were found to be in possession of Ghanaian passports, and in times of deportation all the expenses regarding it are left for the government.

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It is in the light of this that the Daily Graphic supports the challenge the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has thrown to all Ghanaians, especially those in the Diaspora, to be extra vigilant and ensure that non-Ghanaians do not register and pick the Ghana Cards when the National Identification Authority (NIA) starts issuing the cards to Ghanaians in the Diaspora next year (refer to our story on the front page).

The President said although some non-Ghanaians might be in possession of Ghanaian passports which they acquired through fraudulent means, by collective responsibility we could ensure that such people would never get hold of the Ghana Card.

Once the person gets hold of the Ghana Card, which will become the primary form of identification for Ghanaians, it will require strenuous efforts and processes to reverse it. This is why it is important for all to do their bit to ensure that non-qualified people do not hold identities that will imply they are now Ghanaians.

The Daily Graphic, however, wants to draw attention to the Ghana Card mass registration exercise currently going on in parts of the Greater Accra Region.

Since the card is such an important piece of document, we urge that the exercise be accorded the utmost attention to make it a success.
People should be given the free and fair opportunity to have their details captured onto the database with ease.

This is because we believe that for a long time inadequate identification has caused the country so much that the opportunity to right the wrong should not be botched.

The NIA should be equally vigilant on its contract staff working to register people. The people of Ghana can no longer tolerate the alibi that the officers are not supposed to collect money to register people, yet such news is widespread.

That said, the Daily Graphic supports the President fully in his call for vigilance to prevent non-Ghanaians from acquiring the Ghana Card, while we urge the NIA to look at its processes again to ensure that its officers at the registration centres behave and discharge their duties professionally.