The Member of Parliament for Ledzokuku, Dr. Okoe Boye has ascribed the Minority in Parliament’s opposition of the Ghana Card registration to a fear of essentially seeing a “clean” national register.
“The fear of the Minority is that… they know that there are some people holding our Voters’ ID who honestly are not nationals and should they be captured, it serves as a medium or conduit for them to validate their position as nationals,” he said on Citi FM's Big Issue programme on Saturday.
The NPP MP described the Minority’s posturing as “unfortunate” and “a selfish position.”
The Minority is against the National Identification Authority (NIA) only accepting passports and birth certificates to establish citizenship for the Ghana Card registration.
It wants the Voters’ ID card to also be accepted as proof of citizenship and has boycotted the process.
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But the government is determined to make sure there are no gaps that allow non-Ghanaians onto the NIA’s database as it attempts to formalise the economy.
Dr. Okoe Boye said the Minority was just frustrating these attempts.
“As a nation, we all agreed prior to 2016 that our voters’ register is one that is bloated, has integrity issues and we have been taking steps to clean it. Why do you want a document, a registry, which you yourself have admitted that you are constantly taking processes to clean, to be the foundation for getting a national register?”
The Minority has notably said over 20 million Ghanaians were set to be “denationalised” by the registration process.
The fear is that majority of Ghanaians do not have access to a birth certificate or a passport.
But Dr. Boye rubbished these concerns.
“How can a government that want to formalize an economy want to alienate a majority of the economy,” he retorted.
He also said the LI backing the registration process provides the informal alternative of having a relative or two other acquaintances vouch for one’s nationality under oath.
The NIA is training over 2,000 commissioners in this regard to oversee such processes.
Ultimately, Dr. Oko Boye said the Minority was simply trying “to discourage people from giving support [to the process].”
The Minority is currently backing a Supreme Court to challenge the NIA’s basis for only accepting passports and birth certificates to establish citizenship for the registration and instant issuance of the Ghana Card.
The Minority insists the NIA is wrongly interpreting the landmark 2016 judgment in the Abu Ramadan vs Electoral Commission case.
The Supreme Court ordered the Electoral Commission to expunge from the voters’ register the names of all persons who registered and voted in the 2012 elections with the National Health Insurance (NHIS) card as a proof of identity.
The judgment followed contentions that non-Ghanaians had been registered using the NHIS card.
Until the legal challenge is resolved, the Minority says it will be continuing its boycott of the process.