National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has accused the National Identification Authority (NIA), of deliberately trying to block people from the Volta Region from being issued with the Ghana cards.
This he said is evident in the way the NIA has restricted the mode of identification for the cards to only birth certificates and passports and not voter ID cards.
“This is a very strong sentiment from the [Volta] Region and from my constituency – we think that we are being targeted unnecessarily,” he said on Citi TV’s Breakfast Daily show on Wednesday.
Ablakwa said they believe a claim by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in 2015 that Ghana’s voter’s register was bloated by about 80,000 Togolese influenced the NIA’s decision to reject the voter’s ID card as a proof of Ghanaian citizenship.
[contextly_sidebar id=”UCJpu8voejKRbWx1J5E6lJuIGdqpF2vL”]“…For those of us in the Volta Region who have had cause to take on the current Vice President when he did the presentation and sought to profile our registration on the EC data and said that for our region, thousands of Togolese have come to register. And up till now he has not come to give us any evidence. He said he will come back with some other 80,000, it didn’t happen,” he said.
In 2015, Dr. Bawumia [when he was running mate] said the New Patriotic Party had uncovered evidence that shows that close to 80,000 Togolese had registered as Ghanaians in the voters’ register, hence their claim that the register was “bloated.”
Dr. Bawumia explained that data available to them at the time showed unusual increases in the voter’s register in several constituencies between 2008 and 2012.
Ablakwa on the Breakfast Daily said people from the Volta Region have a strong conviction that Bawumia’s claims is playing a very big role in NIA’s current position.
I’ll lose my seat if I register for Ghana card
The North Tongu MP further said on the show that he may lose his seat if he registers for the Ghana card.
According to him, his constituents will not be happy with him since a number of them may not be issued the cards over lack of passports and birth certificates.
“We are raising genuine concerns. As Members of Parliament, we are raising concerns of our constituents. I tell you that, if me, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, North Tongu MP goes and register and I go back to North Tongu, I’m not coming back to Parliament; because they [constituents] will say that I’ve gone to do an elitist thing and left them behind when they don’t have passports or birth certificates,” he stated.
Minority boycotts Ghana card registration
Currently, the NIA only accepts a passport or a birth certificate as proof of citizenship per the law that regulates their work.
The Minority in Parliament had earlier mounted pressure on the NIA to include the voters ID card as a proof of Ghanaian citizenship for the issuance of the Ghana card, but the NIA is adamant.
The Minority, as a result, boycotted the registration for parliamentarians which have since ended.
NIA sued over Ghana card
Meanwhile, a group calling itself the Strategic Thinkers Network Africa has sued the NIA over a decision to exclude the Voters ID as proof of citizenship in their bid to register Ghanaians.
The group is seeking clarity from the Supreme Court a true interpretation of what constitutes proof of citizenship.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citinewsroom.com/Ghana