Ghana-Society –Identity

Ghana suspends ID card registration amidst Covid-19 pandemic

APA-Accra (Ghana)

Ghana has suspended indefinitely its ongoing national identification registration exercise which began in 2019 as a measure to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease which has so far claimed five lives and affected 141 people as on the March 28th, 2020,

The National Identification Authority (NIA), the institution mandated to undertake exercise announced on Friday that it has suspended the Ghana Card registration exercise in the Eastern region indefinitely.
The suspension in the Eastern Region of Ghana, the home region of the incumbent President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo had to be halted through court injunction and severe public criticisms against the President and the Chief Executive Officer of the (NIA), Dr. Ken Attafua.

The general public indicated that the registration was exposing residents in the region to Covid-19 and that there was the need to halt the exercise. However, the officials of NIA put deaf years over it and went on registering people even when the President gave directive to stop all meetings and social gatherings.

This is because the Electoral Commission (EC) has then announced that it would require Ghana Card and Passport as necessary evidence to register people when the new voters register was opened. Therefore it became bone of contention as President’s region would be affected when registration of the new voters register opens.

To get the injunction to be set aside, the Deputy Attorney General, Mr.Goffred Dame went to court on Thursday and sought for dismissal of the injunction which the court granted on Friday.

 After securing the victory, the NIA through a statement indicated that it has indefinitely suspended the mass registration exercise in the Eastern Region until further notice.

"This decision follows a careful assessment of the registration exercise carried out in the Eastern Region.”

The statement added: "The NIA welcomes the dismissal by the High Court of the interlocutory injunction application and the substantive suit. Nonetheless, NIA will continue to suspend its mass registration operations in the Eastern Region until further notice.

The issue has repercussion on the outcome of the 2020 general elections as two giants’ political parties, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and largest opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) battle over voters register for the election. While the opposition NDC and its allies say the EC should use the old voter register, ruling NPP is in support of EC to compile a new voter register.

Early this week, EC announced indefinite suspension of the proposed new voters register which was scheduled for April 18, 2020 as result of the coronavirus disease which was recording high figures in the country.

Meanwhile, it issued statement and said it was observing developments relating to the management of COVID-19 in Ghana and will determine, at the appropriate time, when and how to resume its mass registration operations.

NIA has already completed registration in Volta, Central, Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions.

DAP/Dng/APA

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