The Ghana Card
The attempt by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to do propaganda with the public registration for Ghana Card in the Volta Region has been exposed by the National Identification Authority (NIA).
The NDC, led by its Director of Elections, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, alongside the party’s Volta Regional executives, held a news conference in Ho yesterday accusing the government of deliberately delaying the processes for the registration of the Ghana Card as a way to denationalize Voltarians.
Without any basis, he claimed that the Ghana Card would be used for the compilation of a new voters register for the 2020 general election and that would be used to disenfranchise people from the region.
They, therefore, demanded an extension of the mass registration because he claimed the NIA officials were displaying lukewarm attitude and also disrespecting the people there.
“We are not impressed at all with how the entire exercise has been run so far. There seems to be abnormal queues at these centres causing people to sleep at centres to get registered probably because of the distant places they come from … Unfortunately, an average of about 60 persons are registered daily,” he said, adding “we thought that Prof. Attafuah and his team would have learned from the Accra experience to make this exercise (in the Volta Region) a better one but it is rather unfortunate that those very same errors are rearing their ugly heads again …. It is a deliberate effort to denationalize the good people of the Volta Region.”
Henry Ametefe, NDC Regional Chairman, also warned that “the culture of silence being cultivated around the mass registration exercise is not healthy for the country’s democracy. When there are no materials to work with or even when the people are moving with their machines to a different location, they say they have been asked not to speak to the public.”
When DAILY GUIDE contacted NIA spokesperson Francis Palmdeti, he said the exercise in the Volta Region had progressed better and faster than when it was done in the Greater Accra Region.
“In the Volta Region, we have recorded a higher rate of people receiving their cards on the same day or at worst the following day. For a region that is mostly rural, the network has worked better than some places in Accra.”
He said “there is also a high rate of people having done their Ghana Post GPS addresses which was a challenge in Accra” and commended the communities that had people going round to get the postal addresses for those without smartphones, saying “we have also been impressed with the turnouts and numbers registered.”
Data For Exercise
“Before we start the exercise in any region we take figures from the Statistical Service regarding our target group of 15 years and above. In the Volta Region, 80% of this target group is 572,000 and so far from 22nd July when they started till Tuesday, 6th August 2019 they have done 318,000. They are hoping that they will exceed the 572,000 by 14th August when the exercise is expected to end in the Volta Region.”
“The NIA reject the claims that we are deliberatively disenfranchising people in the Volta Region because that is further from the truth. It is in the interest of the NIA and the nation that we get as many Ghanaians in the national data base as possible.”
From Fred Duodu, Ho