General News of Monday, 19 August 2019
The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has called for a bi-partisan approach in addressing the shortcomings of the national identity card registration.
According to him, it would be appropriate that all measures were put in place to ensure that all Ghanaians got registered to provide the broadest database of the country’s human resource to aid planning and development.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, Mr Asiedu Nketia said “I think the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will do itself a lot of good if it joined the NDC in condemning the shortcomings of the registration exercise because at the end of the day, if it happens that the number of Ghanaians in a particular region, community or area is suppressed, then that will form the basis of determining development in the region because the numbers will determine the allocation of resources.”
Position of the NDC
From the very onset, he said, the position of the NDC had been that the Ghana card registration was a very useful exercise because “identifying the citizens of a country is a very important step towards improving the economy because all planning has to do with the number of people existing in the country.”
“You need the number of your citizens of school-age before you will be able to determine the number of schools you want to build,” he pointed out.
He further explained that if it was a policy about the aged and pensions and related matters, all the calculations would be based on the figures of the population above a certain age.
More so, in determining administrative areas like regions, districts and constituencies, population figures would be required to plan for development.
Beyond election purposes
However, he said there were some people going around and trying to present the Ghana Card as having the sole purpose of being used for elections but he maintained that “the card goes beyond identification for purposes of election.”
“In fact, the Ghana Card goes right to the base of determining development priorities, and how to spread development, among others,” he said.
Having witnessed the registration exercise in the Volta Region, Mr Asiedu Nketia said there were reports from the region that there seemed to be a deliberate policy to suppress the number of people from the region who would register for the card.
Attitude of the NPP
Unfortunately, he said, the NPP seemed to have adopted a lackadaisical attitude towards the problems that are associated with the registration exercise.
He posited that registration for citizenship ought to be comprehensive and all-inclusive and that any attempt to deny people their legitimate right to be registered and be identified as citizens of a country, was an attempt to make people stateless.