Former President John Mahama has suggested to the Electoral Commission (EC) to allow sufficient time for the citizenry full integration into the Ghana Card system to avoid unhelpful exclusion of all other legitimately acquired, credible and time-tested forms of identification is implemented.
“The National Identification Authority (NIA) cannot claim to have covered every citizen who should be registered or distributed all the Ghana Cards printed to those who have been captured in their system,” he decried.
According to the former president, the NIA had failed to distribute hundreds of thousands of cards to people who have registered and the haste on the part of the Electoral Commission to exclude all other means of identification was clearly indecent and informed by an ulterior objective.
Former President Mahama suggested in his remarks when he delivered the closing ceremony of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Minority Caucus Workshop in Ho to sharpen the knowledge, skills and boost their repertoire as Members of Parliament (MPs).
He recalled last week, the Minority Caucus in Parliament raised red flags over suspected attempts to compile a new voters’ register on the sole basis of the Ghana Card but the EC had been quick to deny that it harboured any such intentions.
“Until the advent of the current leadership of the Commission, this denial would have marked the end of the matter, the Commission in its present guise is known to have walked back on similar commitments in recent past, and so we in the NDC will maintain eternal vigilance to ensure no such issue happens.
“The processes of continuous registration as canvassed by the EC must necessarily include a system that enables all political parties and relevant stakeholders to possess the capacity to monitor same in real time, to avoid fraud and exploitation to the undue advantage of any party.
“We in the NDC will insist on room to be made for Ghanaians who are yet to be served and enrolled on to Ghana Card until full, total coverage is achieved in its roll out, will enable them to exercise their democratic rights of voting, cannot be excluded from voters’ register due to no fault of theirs, should be clear and quite easy to appreciate,” former President Mahama stated.
He bemoaned the EC’s commitment and determination to ensure disenfranchisement of sections of Ghanaian population at all costs through misguided insistence on use of Ghana Card as only source of identification for a voter card.
The former president pointed out that the Ghana Card was relatively new feature of national life and had its merits in the scheme of things and now being brandished as political tool around which all manner of schemes was being fashioned towards elections.