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06.02.2007 General News

Building a National Identification System: NIA urged to be vigilant

By Nana Obeng-Danquah
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Allen Kwabena Gyimah, a leading member of the ruling New Patriotic Party has asked the National Identification Authority to put in place stringent measures that will prevent unqualified persons, especially foreigners from registering when the national registration exercise commences later in the year.

Sounding rather controversial, he argued that if he had the power he would have preferred that the exercise be deferred until a more appropriate time frame could be established.

He said this is because the nation is approaching an election year and the exercise could be politicised. He also thinks a lot more public awareness and education is needed.

Expressing these sentiments to The Statesman, Mr Gyimah, said his concern stems from his belief that there were "too many” foreign nationals in the country, particularly those from the sub-region whose identity would be difficult to determine.

Mr Gyimah said some non-Ghanaians are likely to register as Ghanaians, even though they might not be eligible and this because Ghana is seen as a peaceful nation and respected in the comity of nations as a democratic country.

Allen Gyimah, who is also the founder of the Positive Supporters Club, said the image of the country is crucial in the whole exercise, adding that often , criminals who claim Ghanaian citizenship have sometimes been proven otherwise. He cited several instances to buttress his point.

For the registration exercise to be a success, the NPP stalwart said: “We should be patriotic enough to report any imposter irrespective of our relationship with them.”

Meanwhile, the National Identification Authority has embarked on a public awareness campaign to sensitise the people on the impending registration exercise.

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