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General News of Saturday, 27 January 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Births and Deaths Registry position on local names absurd – Information Minister

Information Minister, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has added his voice to those opposed to the Births and Deaths Registry anti-local names policy; calling it an absurd decision.

The policy which was highlighted in Thursday’s edition of The Daily Heritage newspaper, prevents parents from registering names such as Nii, Naa, Torgbui, Maame et al.

Also under the policy, local names cannot be registered as first names if the individual’s name includes a foreign name.

Commenting on the raging debate on Newsfile, Saturday, Mr. Hamid said in his layman understanding of the policy, it is an unwise decision.

“…in my own commonsensical understanding, I think that it is absurd,” he said.

Mr. Hamid who also doubles as the Presidential spokesperson lauded pressure group, Occupy Ghana, for writing to the Attorney General for the policy to be dropped or face legal action.

Related: Registrar Of Births And Deaths Sued Over Refusal To Register Some Ghanaian Names

"It is good that the lawyers in Occupy Ghana have spoken law, people have to assert their rights," he said.

He buttressed his point by highlighting how the Registry registers these title names in foreign names but refuses to do so in the local languages.

"Amir means leader and Abdul means servant and they register all these names but they decline to do so the local languages," he argued.

Former Deputy Finance Minister, Mona Quartey, who was also on the show shared no contrary view as she said we [Ghanaians] need to remind these public servants that “they are rendering a service to the nation” and not there to serve themselves.

Newsfile Mona Quartey

Member of Parliament for Tamale Central Constituency, Inusah Fuseini also argued that some of these local names are given to inspire children to achieve more than their parents and the Registry has no basis to deny the names.

Inusah Fuseini 2016

Inusah Fuseini

“They have no authority to do that until the law is changed,” he said