NIA Boss Prof Ken Attafuah (Left) and Prof Gyampo

The National Identification Authority (NIA) has said that a Professor at the University of Ghana, RansfordGyampo ‘misinformed and misled’ the general public with his ‘inadequate’ appreciation of the issues about which he wrote regarding the Ghana Card.

NIA Reacts to Prof. Ransford Gyampo’s Comment

Prof Gyampo had said in a write-up that both the NIA and the Electoral Commission (EC) suffer from serious of trust deficits from the main opposition party the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

He further suggested that until these two agencies of state work consciously to deal with this challenge, even the most pious of their intentions may be seen as gifts from the Greeks and be taken with great trepidation.

He said regarding the move to remove the guarantor system from voter restoration that under the current arrangement, someone with a Ghana Card can guarantee for one to be given a Ghana Card. But someone with a Ghana Card cannot guarantee for one to register as voter.

“Secondly, to avoid bureaucratic bottlenecks, one must pay 250 cedis to be able to procure a Ghana Card, a move that undermines the concept of Universal Adult Suffrage. Also, there are allegations that the distribution of equipment for the production of the Ghana Cards is skewed to favor the strongholds of the ruling party and to the disadvantage of the opposition. Again, as of 2020, there were about 17 million people captured by the NIA.

“Out of this number, a huge percentage are minors and foreigners. Also, out of this number, about 3.5 million people have still not been given their Ghana Cards because the NIA has no means to pay about 126 million to procure these cards for its owners. Moreover, the EC must be able to update its register every year but since 2021, this has not been done. Furthermore, the idea of burdening poor people in the hinterlands to look for non-existent resources to travel to only the district capital offices of the EC to register as voters, would be demoralizing, disenfranchising and democratically callous,” he said.

But the NIA said that “Beyond the bare assertion, Prof. provides no evidence of the ‘serious trust deficit’ that allegedly exists between NIA and NDC. Professors have a professional duty to be current in their assertions, and to provide the evidentiary bases for them. This is particularly so when a commentary concerns existing relationships between individuals or groups. False and misleading characterization of current relationships can create needless tension or exacerbate conflict in society.

“While Gyampo’s opinion might reflect the truth in the past, there is no reasonable basis today for the assertion that there is a “serious trust deficit” between NIA and NDC. Here’s why: a. Beginning in 2018, NIA embarked on a comprehensive stakeholder engagement to build or deepen trust and to enlist the support of all segments of society for its work. This included dialogue with all major political parties, several state institutions and key influencers in Ghanaian society. One key outcome of this process was the unqualified endorsement of NIA’s work by all former living Presidents of Ghana and their public registration for the Ghana Card.

“On the occasion of his registration for the Ghana Card in June 2018, late President Jerry John Rawlings, Founder of the NDC, publicly acknowledged the importance of the work of NIA, praised its current leadership for its sterling performance. He also congratulated NIA and its technical partner, Identity Management Systems II Ltd., for their splendid innovations in the nation’s identity management system, and called on all Ghanaians to register for the Ghana Card.

“Similarly, on Tuesday, 9th July 2019, former President John Dramani Mahama and Mrs. Lordina Mahama, their household and office staff, and some leading members of the NDC including Dr. Omane Boamah, registered for the Ghana Card at the President’s East Cantonments office. At the end of the exercise, President Mahama urged all Ghanaians to ‘go out there and register for the Ghana Card’. The former President and his NDC colleagues were most cordial in their reception of the NIA team that carried out the exercise.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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