The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has expressed shock over the Minority’s decision to boycott the ongoing national registration for the Ghana Card.
According to the National Policy Advisor for the PPP, Kofi Asamoah Siaw, the reason for the boycott is unacceptable.
He did not understand why the NDC minority who contributed to passing a new law, which exempted the use of voters’ ID as proof of citizenship, will now turn around and accuse the National Identification Authority (NIA) of failing to use the same card as a primary document in registering citizens.
He said this at a press conference Tuesday.
The Minority in Parliament has decided to boycott the ongoing national registration and issuance of the Ghana card because the NIA, in compliance with the law, decided to accept only passports and birth certificates as primary documents in the registration process.
In the absence of those two documents, a person hoping to be registered must be vouched for by his relative or by two other persons who must have been registered already.
These provisions were contained in a new law unanimously passed by Parliament last year. Both the NDC and the NPP parliamentarians agreed that voters ID must be taken out of the list of documents used for the national registration.
However, when the NIA began implementing the law in its registration process, the NDC has made a u-turn.
According to them, the NIA by refusing to use the voters’ ID as proof of citizenship will disenfranchise a number of Ghanaians most of who do not have a passport or a birth certificate.
They are also raising issues about the cost of the registration process which they say is too exorbitant.
Some two persons have since taken the matter to court, with the Minority hoping to follow suit.
But the PPP is unhappy with the situation. Mr Kofi Asamoah Siaw suggested the action being taken by the Minority is hypocritical.
“NIA has done nothing wrong and we need to be able to speak and tell their story that they are a creature of statute. They have been told what they should and they are doing what they have been told to do by Parliament. So why would MPs who gave them the clean bail of health turn around and want to scuttle their effort?” he said.
He said the NDC had eight years to register all Ghanaians and issue Ghana cards but failed and wondered why they are now kicking against the process.
“We were able to capture 21 million people into the data base so why did we decide to throw everything away.
“We see that it is a complete disservice. Maybe it is in their DNA not to get us on the path of proper development,” he said.
Kofi Asamoah Siaw said the Minority MPs are leaders in their own right and their decision to boycott could influence their supporters not to register.
He said the NDC Minority has ulterior motives in deciding to boycott the process.