By Salisu Be-Awuribe
- Do you know that, the best system of attestation is that which has been endorsed and accepted by people with opposing interest? The rational? Because their interests are opposed to each other, they hardly reach a consensus. So if at any time a Consensus is reached, then, it means that there is something unique and believable to what has been agreed upon beyond any shadow of doubt.
- Do you know that a majority, in fact more than 60% of the people who registered with the NIA did so using statutory declarations forms sworn before Commissioners of Oaths? YES. We have a law which allows an individual to Statutorily declare facts known to him, the falsity of which he volunteers to be punished for such a declaration.
- Do you know that a Statutory declaration relies solely on the honesty of the declarant, ie an untested and uncontested Value judgment? Usually no document is required unless the declarant willingly puts it in issue?
- Do you know that the Commissioner of Oath usually don’t have any means of testing the validity of what the declarant says except to just witness that the said declarant made those statements in his presence as an officer of the Court empowered to witness same?
It means that using the Statutory declaration system, an untruthful declarant at the point of declaration has no way of being challenged. His or her untruth passes until any spirited person volunteers to challenge it if they are minded to do so.
- Do you also know that, the ‘Ghanaianess’ of an individual is not just the colour of the skin or facial looks but a complex interplay of several factors in the Citizenship Act?
- Do you know that, at the Ghana Card Registration, there were virtually no people of opposing interest? Just the individual person willing to Register for the Card and the NIA Registration Officials, a majority of whom were NPP political apartchiks.
- It means a Majority of the NIA Card bearers used a system of identification as Ghanaians, the truth or otherwise is not tested and may never be tested.
- Do you know that almost a half of the people who even registered for the Card Ghana has not got the card for well over a year running?
- Do you know that most of the people who are in possession of Valid Ghanaian Traveling Passports now used the Birth Certificates as Proof of their Citizenship and the Voter ID Card to authenticate their identity contained in their birth certificates?
- Do you know that the birth certificate is accepted by the NIA for the purposes of obtaining a Ghana Card? The same as was done with the Voter ID Card in the past and as late as 7 months ago?
NOW LOOK AT THE CONTRADICTIONS
- The Birth Certifcate is not valid to obtain a Voter ID Card but valid for a Ghana Card and Passport which derived its legitimacy from the Birth Certifcate. Ghana Card and Passports identifies nothing but citizenship. Those two Cards source of identifying someone’s as a citizen of Ghana is from the birth Certifcate. On the Contrary, the Jean Mensah led EC says their own Voter ID card they issued to which she and her predecessors supretended using the Birth Certifcate is no more Valid. A case of believing someone integrity more than yourself. If she herself doesn’t beleive in her own integrity, what business does she have to still lead an institution whose oxygen for its survival is integrity of its officers.
- Of all the Cards, it is the Voter ID card which goes through proper and rigorous screening. Why? Because, at the point of Registration, you don’t only need the identity documents required of the other cards, but you are registered in a community where you have been staying continuously for years preceeding your Registration or that you hail from the said community. Your house must have been known in the community and people can attest to you being there. Your parents and relations are all known by the community or within the community. There is also another layer of screening, the Party Agents. They are usually politically opposed persons representing their parties at the Polling Station with a core of their Branch/Polling Station Executives who usually reside in the said community of the Polling Station and who are just not exalted observers or what ever that means but active participants aimed at ensuring that the right things are done according to the laws and the regulations set for it. If they are in doubt, they are entitled to Challenge the Registration which challenge goes through a rigorous arbitration process presided by a Judge or Magistrate with representations from parties and other organs of State before a verdict is reached. None exist in the other so called accepted documents by the EC per the amendment proposed and currently laid in parliament. Yes, there may be few grains of slippages. But if few grains of slippage in the Voters register can’t be tolerated, then the Egyptian Pyramid size bolders in the Ghana Card and Passports can’t be accepted either.
- If majority of NIA cards are based on untested statutory declarations, it means that the EC acceptance of same for purposes of Registration imports the same imperfections to the Register. How can such imperfections be perfected by a wholesale acceptance of the NIA Cards? So a holder of an NIA card is presume to be a citizen of Ghana if the card says so on the face of it. It doesn’t matter the representation made to acquire it. Such a person now become the superior Ghanaian qualified to guarantee another person for the purposes of Registration as a voter.
- Come to think of this. A guarantor acts as such to the best of his knowledge and beleive and does not pretend to be a paragon of truth. A bonafide guarantor without malice can’t be held for guaranteeing a non citizen to acquire a Voter ID card.
- It also means that the EC may disenfranchise a Citizen of Ghana on the mere fact that he had only a Voter ID card but failed to procure other people to guarantee him this time around to Register as a Voter because he has no other supporting Ghana Card or Travelling Ghanaian passport. Never mind he has been voting ìn public elections and referenda since 1951 and his citizenship has never been challenged. What a violent rape of an individuals fundamental human right. The Logic of Jean Mensah led EC and Nana Addos Government. Incidentally, the two leaders are Lawyers who must understand better. Well some ulterior motives defies logic and challenge masked principles.
- By their actions, the EC is stating to the World that it is willing to instantly accept representations of guarantors they don’t know. Rely on the said representations to issue a New Voter ID card as against the composite pile of voluminous biodata and biometrics of citizens they have been dealing with since 1987/88.
- Worse still, in the Just ended December Local Government elections, the EC produced 3 set of Registers for every Polling station as the need be. The Regular Register which contained names and identities of persons who have been registered biometrically since 2012, A register of those who transferred their votes temporally and a Register of Deceased Voters from the Polling station and those who have had multiple registrations at the said polling station. This third Register is the product of their deduplication and cross matching using the same IT equipment they are discrediting and subsequent validation exercises undertaken prior to the voting in December 2019. It is therefore strange for the same EC to state that a new Voters Register is required because the existing one contained names of deceased persons when they exhibited their capacity to not only identify them but to also expunged deceased persons names in the Register at each Polling station.
- Why subject Ghanaians to this needless risk at the time that community spread of this Corona virus is on the rise and no one knows the magnitude of the spread. Lives are continually being lost. If we can have close to a 1000 recoveries from the disease in one day, we can also have a over a 1000 infections and deaths in a day. Why tell us to stay at home whilst advocating for us to come, que, reregister and go ahead to further spread the disease. If observance to social distancing and protocols were that simple and easy easily complied with, why should the number of cases rise from a mere 2 to close to about 6000 when all that you have been doing is to advocate for the observance of same since we had our index case.
SO CLEARLY, THERE IS AN ULTERIOR INGLORIOUS MOTIVE BY THE EC, NIA, THE GOVERNMENT AND NPP.
19th May, 2020