Majority Leader Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the sole use of the Ghana card as registration for voter identification card has come to sanitize and purify the Ghanaian system as currently various institutions are recognizing the integrity of the National Identification Authority and the Ghana card.
According to him the call by his colleagues in the Minority pushing for birth certificate, national health insurance card and passport to be reintroduced is untenable, stating that with the NIA system of acquiring Ghana card, one is required to swear an oath before a commissioner when need be. And the sanction are well spelt out such that even ten years after, if you are found out not to tell the truth you will go to prison and you would be disenfranchised eternally.
“So people are afraid the EC system is a bit loose, you go and I know this person, we are in the same house, I know him to be a Ghanaian, I swear before myself and the ground that I know him and that is all”.
Addressing members of the Parliamentary Press Corps on Thursday, March 2, 2023, he further noted that when the drivers licenses was taken off it did not serve as a restraint on citizens right to register to vote, same with birth certificates.
He added that a number of cards issued in the lead up to the 2012 elections, the enactment came into force February 2012 at the time less than ten thousand across the country Ghanaians had been issued with the Ghana Identity cards against the voting population of twelve million Ghanaians in the 2016 elections.
The then EC Chair Charlotte Osei could not resort to the Ghana card, as less than two hundred and twenty thousand Ghana card was issued against a targeted voter population of close to fifteen million Ghanaians in the lead up to the 2016 elections.
The registration exercise done by the EC did not rely solely on the Ghana card despite the fact that they used it at the time; those who had Ghana card could go with it to register but said they did not rely on it solely for the purposes of registration. The EC accordingly decided to resort to it as one of the instrument of identification of Ghanaian citizens.
At that time Ghanaians with the Ghana card had significantly improved such that at the time of the 2020 elections, EC had informed Ghanaians that by February 2020 the number of Ghanaians who had been issued with the card total just about under seven million against the voting population of close to seventeen million.
So, they could not rely on it solely for the purposes of registration but they used it as one of it and indeed by December 2020 when the voting took place the number had improved from seven million to ten million.
The NIA’s issuance of cards, their system is much more better than that of the EC, “why do I say this; in the compilation of the register of the NIA, it came to light of the number that had registered on their role, ninety five thousand nine hundred and forty two people attempted to register multiple times and were found”.