President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that he has no interest in disenfranchising the people of the Volta Region as being bandied about by his political opponents.
He said claims by some leaders and legislators of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the purpose of the National Identification Card was to disenfranchise some Ghanaians, particularly those from the Volta Region were untrue.
“I have no interest in disenfranchising any Ghanaian. The card is meant for Ghanaians, and that is why Parliament, with the full support of both sides of the house, the minority and majority, supported the new law that is being applied by the NIA. So, it is unfortunate that some people are approving and disapproving their own work.”
The President noted that there was no justification for anyone, let alone Minority MPs, to “come back and then say these particular people are doing this to disenfranchise x, y or z persons”.
“We are not disenfranchising anybody. If you don’t have a birth certificate, passport, all you have to do is to produce a Ghanaian to vouch for you, and you get your card.”
The President said this during the inauguration of the Anlo Shopping Centre, at Anloga, at the start of his three-day tour of the region.
He pointed out that people in the region, who lived close to Togo, were aware of the “Carte nationale d’Identité” – Togo National ID card, and said it was regrettable Ghana’s inability, for well over eight years, to have her own National ID card.
He told the gathering the “NIA has not refused anything other than what Parliament passed.
The legislation that is insisting on passports and birth certificates is not the work of NIA – it is the work of Parliament. It is the law passed by Parliament”.
“So statements’ that the NIA is deliberately refusing this or that, is unfortunate. It means the person or those who are saying this, are not familiar with the legal situation.”
The HIA card, he said was needed for “our planning and for the organization of our state”, and gave the assurance that “by the grace of God, it (the issuance of the NIA cards) will be completed in Akufo-Addo’s time.”
He added that all the programmes and policies his administration had implemented in the last 18 months had affected and benefitted Ghanaians from every part of the country.
He cited the implementation of the Free SHS programme that would ensure that 180,000 more students were enrolled in the 2018/2019 academic year.
“I am determined that every single child in this country, no matter where they are from, no matter whether their father has money or not, will go to school, at least to secondary school level.”
Construction works on the shopping centre began under the NDC and got completed under his administration.
“Togbe, if you remember, when we were campaigning, I said that if, by the grace of God, the Ghanaian people were to give me their confidence, and I was to come in, I will make sure that whatever was started by my predecessor, I will complete it. That is exactly what is happening here today,” he added.
The President said “I am not stealing NDC policies, I am completing Ghanaian projects. And, it is the same way that we are going to complete the Keta Sea Defence wall”.
The contractors have abandoned the site but he announced that “active negotiations are going on to pay the contractors so they can come back, and, very soon, you will see that it will start again.”
“The pledge we made to develop several harbours along the coast, including the Keta Harbour, we will make that a reality.”