The National Identification Authority (NIA) has dispelled accusations it prevented Fulanis from registering for the Ghana card.
A Fulani Community in Ghana, Tabital Pulaaku International Ghana Chapter, had earlier raised concerns over what it referred to as unfair treatment meted out to its Fulani brothers in the country.
According to the group, eligible Ghanaian Fulanis were being prevented from registering for the Ghana Card by some officials of the NIA.
The Public Relations Officer of the Tabital Pulaaku International Ghana Chapter, Ahmed Barry said: “We have cases where some have their birth certificates and passports. They go through the normal procedure. Immediately they see them and they see that they are Fulanis, they tell them Fulanis are not Ghanaians so they are not going to allow them to even go under the normal stage that they are supposed to go through. Straight away, they tell them to go away, which is very painful.”
But the NIA, in response, says these claims are false.
It further advised such persons who are being prevented from registering to follow the laid down procedure and fill a challenge form.
“If for any reason, an applicant is not eligible and that applicant believes strongly that they are, then they’ll have to go through the formal challenge process which every registration officer at the centre is aware of. This process entails filling three forms. One will be filled by the applicant, another form will be sent to the village where he comes from and the other to the assemblyman in the community where he lives.”
“All these documents are put together and submitted before the district registration review committee responsible for making determinations as to whether applicants are eligible or not. We do not consider Fulanis or any tribe in Ghana as aliens or foreigners. It is not true that our officials would deliberately drive away Fulanis who are eligible to register,” he remarked.
This is not the first time the Fulanis have complained over the alleged discrimination against them in the ongoing National ID Card registration exercise.
At the installation of the new Wenchi Fulani Community Chief in the Wenchi Municipality of the Bono Region in January, the General Secretary of the Fulani Community in Ghana, Yakubu Musa Bari said the Office of the Fulani Community has received a lot of complaints across the country from Fulanis who were denied an opportunity to register in the ongoing registration exercise.
Yakubu Musa Bari noted that before Ghana became independent, the Fulanis voted and have participated in every election hence should not be denied the opportunity to have the Ghana Card.