Court ruling on NIA mass registration is affront to President’s directives – Minority Leader

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader in Parliament has described the ruling in favour of the National Identification Authority (NIA) to continue with its mass registration exercise as an affront to the President’s directives that, not more than 25 people should congregate at a place to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

He said the court, per its ruling by extension, has given licence to the public such that citizens would now be better justified to disrespect the President’s directives by worshipping and doing any other things which could bring people together.

Addressing the Parliamentary Press Corps last Friday, he said the court was prioritising elections at the peril of Ghanaian lives, since the National Identification Card has become one of the conditions under which people qualified to be registered for the new voter’s register and exercise their franchise in this year’s general elections.

Mr Iddrisu said it was clear from the beginning that the National Identification Card had not been a success, since many people after the registration had not still received their cards, and it was worrying since the Electoral Commission (EC) made it one of the conditions before being registered.

He said the postponement of the registration was not as a result of the coronavirus, which the EC wanted everyone to believe, since the real fact was that, the instrument, which was to give legal backings to the registration, was not ready.

Mr Iddrisu said the instrument presented to Parliament was deficient and was without a schedule, adding that “it then became clear that the April 18 date given by the EC was not feasible.”

He said since the machines which the EC was procuring were not available, it has again resorted to using the BVR machines it claimed were obsolete to train its staff for registration purpose, adding that “such a situation was incompatible since the machines being procured are different.”

Returning to the subject of the court ruling, he said there was the need to clearly define whether the NIA services was an essential service, since he was yet to come across any legislation which put it under that category.

Mr Iddrisu said he equally was at a loss for the current situation because it seemed the winning of the elections and consolidating power seemed the priority of the government at the peril of Ghanaian lives.

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