Issuing NIA Cards Without Biometric Verification Problematic—Mr. Mathias Tulasi
Mr Mathias Tulasi, the Chief Executive Officer of Literacy Ambassadors Ghana (LAG), a non-governmental literacy organisation, has said the manner in which NIA cards are being issued currently across the country without biometric verification problematic and dubious.
Mr. Mathias Tulasi has said so reacting to the current happenings as far as mass distribution of the NIA cards to those who did not receive theirs which began this Wednesday, June 10, 2020, is concerned.
Below is his full statement
The National Identification Authority has been commended by a section of Ghanaians for heeding the advice and concerns in its current attempt to issue cards to those who were not earlier given though registered.
Prior to the exercise, there were a lot of information within the National Identification Authority that the planned mass distribution of printed Ghana cards will be done without verification which some of us thought was just a joke and misinformation.
Surprisingly, the exercise has began and that is exactly what is happening at the registration centers.
It is strange and unthinkable the National Identification Authority (NIA) is currently acting in a manner contrary to its own earlier procedural requirements used in the distribution of cards where before cards are finally issued to applicants they were biometrically verified.
Where are the verification machines used in the earlier distribution of the Ghana cards? Why has the authority decided to use photo albums to do the distribution without biometrically verifying the applicants?
Now that the printed cards are not biometrically verified before being issued to the applicants, would it be acceptable and captured into their database as valid cards or the card are useless for now?
If it is the case that until the cards are biometrically verified they can't be captured in their database, then it means that the numerous applicants yet to receive their cards cannot use them for the impending needless mass compilation of entirely new register by the EC though it is a primary document for the exercise as captured in CI 126.
Now that they are using photo albums to do the distribution without biometrically verification, it is obvious that cards can be mistakenly issued to wrong people and defective cards can also be issued.
The Chief Executive Officer of NIA should come out and tell the public whether the cards even without biometric verification are valid for the upcoming needless mass registration by the Electoral Commission or it is just an attempt by the authority to deceive the public by distributing cards it knows will not be accepted by EC.
This their current issuance without biometric verification is dubious, unprofessional and unacceptable because their system has been designed to mandatory verify all applicants before issuance of cards.
No Ghanaian of 18 years and above and of sound mind should be disenfranchise ahead of the upcoming polls come December 7,2020.
We need a peaceful Ghana at all times because the need for peaceful elections is more important than the elections itself. For if there is no peace before, during, and after the elections, both the victor and the losers will have no reason to celebrate and lessons to learn, respectively.
Peace in Ghana we should know is paramount, but not automatic, as assumed by many.
To ensure peaceful elections, the effort of all stakeholders, especially the major players like the Electoral Commission, the political parties, and the government must instill trust, confidence, commitment, and most importantly, patriotism in citizens.
God bless our homeland Ghana.