Open Letter To The President On NIA Registration And Coronavirus
Dear Mr. President,
For the first time in many years, the many excesses that make human life worth living have lost relevance and the whole world is united in thought, prayer, and action to combat a global health threat, The Corona Virus. Indeed many leaders across the globe have been busy trying to think through solutions out of this unexpected puzzle in order that life can return to normalcy within the shortest possible time.
While the primary interest of many world leaders borders on solving the Corona puzzle, the same cannot be said for you Sir, as President of Ghana, a country that has recorded 152 cases of the deadly virus in two weeks. Beyond appearing on national TV and at press conferences to read ghost-written speeches to give us empty hope, your true interests seem to rest with other matters which you probably consider more important than our lives. Perhaps, because you and your rich elite friends have relatively very little to worry about as compared to us the poor masses.
Considering that this deadly virus has already claimed three lives on Ghanaian soil, it is not only shocking but also appalling that you Sir, would align your primary interests at the critical moment with matters related to the next elections rather than the well-being of the very people you swore an oath to protect. Mr. President, you have consistently looked on gleefully as key state institutions such as the National Identification Authority flourish in lawlessness to the detriment of public health and safety.
As a body that operates directly under your high office, it is mind-blowing that you continue to allow The National Identification Authority to continue its display of gross disregard for your authority as well as public safety, without being called to order. As if it is not a shame enough that it had to take the National Identification Authority a court action suspend its mass registration exercise, you Mr. President asked us to close our yes in fasting and prayer, while your deputy Attorney-General was in court to seek a quashing of the said injunction, thereby allowing for the mass registration exercise to resume, on the grounds that it is a requirement for the New Voter Register.
In fact, the law firm defending the National Identification Authority in court is your very own law firm and you have ensured that A Justice who you recently promoted to the Appeals Court was put in charge of the case to do your bidding leading to the drawing forward to March 27th, a case which was to be originally heard on April 9, 2020. This application was granted your deputy Attorney-General against the rules of court which required that the defendants be served with such an application three days before the court date. Why concern yourself with all these machinations in our deepest moments of global crisis?
Are you insinuating Mr. President, that the elections are more important than the lives of the very humans whose votes you seek? It is shocking Mr. President, that as a supposed advocate for the Rule of law you continue to look on with approval, as the National Identification Authority continues to attempt overriding basic safety measures all in the name of an election prerequisite. Permit me respectfully to remind you on behalf of the people Sir, that you took an oath committing yourself to the service and well-being of the people of the Republic of Ghana.
The convergence of NIA registrants is in clear violation of that oath as well as goes against your very own directives and we expect you to show leadership. We expect you to place the people’s safety above the outcome of the election 2020. We expect of you to call your recalcitrant appointees at the National Identification Authority especially Prof. Ken Attafuah to order. You may be in the know already, that the Minister of Health has publicly stated that our health systems are very fragile.
Therefore it is only wise for us to manage this pandemic in a way that it does not escalate beyond containment. Let us dedicate efforts towards finding a collective solution to this canker rather than dissipating energy and resources on frivolous ventures. When the dust settles, everybody can register for whatever relevant card there is. For now, let us protect lives. Let us show leadership.
Let Mr. President think for once of human lives, above parochial interests. It is only by proactive leadership that we can manoeuvre our way out of this mess as a country. Remember Mr. President, Dead Ghana Cardholders cannot register for a voter card and Dead people certainly don’t vote. I thank you for your time.
Nat G. Tetteh
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