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GhanaCard must be secured

BY: Graphic.com.gh
Prosper Afetsi
Prosper Afetsi

The Foundation of Generational Thinkers (FOGET), a non-governmental organisation, has reminded the government of the need to put adequate mechanisms in place to ensure that the ongoing registration exercise for the GhanaCard is not infiltrated and hijacked by criminal elements.

That, the group said, was to ensure that the cards did not fall in the hands of undesirable elements who could use them for nefarious activities which could ultimately tarnish the country’s image and compromise her security.

A statement issued in Accra and signed by the President of FOGET, Mr Prosper Afetsi, referred to the organisation’s earlier warning in October 2017 about the issuance of the card, which it said had wide security implications for the country if the registration exercise was abused by allowing foreigners to be on the roll.

Credibility

The non-governmental organisation (NGO) noted that Ghana did not have a credible national identity card system whose procurement processes were foolproof and could easily identify a holder.

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“Ghana’s inability to produce a security proof card has devalued the various identity cards that many establishments do not accept them. This has led to a situation whereby even the voters’ identity card currently in use is reluctantly accepted due to the various infractions committed by citizens who have them, despite laid-down regulations,” it said.

The statement pointed out that many Africans arrested outside Ghana had been found to be in possession of such national security document.

It asked whether the National Identification Authority (NIA) officials had been properly briefed and understood the security implication of allowing foreigners onto the national register of citizens.

Identity

Acquiring a national identity card should involve more than just claiming you hail from a particular town and producing a birth certificate, FOGET said.

“There have been reports, corroborated by NIA officials that some of their officials are in cahoots with foreigners to corrupt the ongoing exercise with monetary inducements. Some of these corrupt officials – both Ghanaians and mostly Nigerians - have been arrested but who knows how many of them have passed through the system undetected,” FOGET pointed out.

The NGO noted that with the threat of terrorism on the rise in the ECOWAS sub-region, care must be taken so that all applicants for the GhanaCard are properly scrutinised.