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Opinions of Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Columnist: Kwaku Boateng

NIA card controversies hurting Prof. Attafuah's image


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Prof. Ken Attafuah should stop talking and granting unnecessary media interviews in order to save his remaining integrity.

The more he talks, the more he reveals and confirms their perceived hidden agenda and collusion with the Electoral Commission.

In fact, some of the utterances of Prof. Attafuah sound vexatious and disrespectful to Ghanaians. For example, Prof. Attafuah said to Godfred Akoto Boafo on Citi Fm' Face to Face program that all the close to 30million Ghanaians did not understand the President's directives regarding the Lockdown with respect to Public gathering. Prof. Attafuah, as a Law Professor, is telling us the directives restricting public gathering was limited only to Funerals where not more than 25 persons should gather for a funeral. I am not a Lawyer but I think the President's directives were very clear and precise to all Ghanaians. Prof. Attafuah cannot confuse us as though we were in the Courtroom.

And this is NIA's justification for them continuing the registration in the Eastern Region when all well meaning and reasonable Ghanaians said it was wrong doing so.

The question is, do people stand in long queues at drinking spots to buy drinks before drinking spots were directed to cease operations? The long queues witnessed at all the NIA registration centers across the country where people queued from dawn to dusk is nowhere comparable to what happened in some churches but churches have been stopped from operating.

As a Professor of Law, Ken Attafuah should know that his attitude towards the President's directives was unprofessional and indefensible. If ordinary Ghanaians will respect the President's directives, how come a Law Professor, heading a State institution will tell his employees to disrespect a Legislative Instrument that the Parliament of Ghana has granted the President to execute. It's a bad example.

Again, Prof. Attafuah tells Godfred Akoto Boafo that the NIA board had already taken a decision to stop the Eastern Region registration before some members of the public went to Court to stop them. How can we believe this story from the Professor? If we consider it truthful, why then did the Deputy Attorney General go to Court praying the Court to allow the NIA to continue the registration? Or Prof. thinks Godfred Akoto is one of his security men in his home who will believe that story? Well, Ghanaians don't believe that story.

Furthermore, Prof Attafuah says he does not understand why people have said even the Banks are not accepting the cards. And that there has been a Law in the country since 2012 that until all Ghanaians have received their cards, the NIA cannot insist on it's general application. This sounds absurd and does not make sense. I say so because if NIA claims it has issued over 7 million cards, how can you hold on to such cards until all Ghanaians have received theirs? Most teenagers between 17 and 19 years do not have any form of ID. The Prof. is telling us that these people should wait until all Ghanaians get their cards before the NIA will validate the cards for usage. How? And if this is really a Law, then it's bogus Law.

Now, the most ridiculous one I picked from the Prof. on Citi TV was when he said if not for the COVID-19 , NIA was to finish all the regions and move their equipment and personnel abroad to register Ghanaians living abroad. My 14 year old daughter who was also watching the program said, "daddy, won't they register us before going abroad to register people"? Her next question was, " daddy, can you use a Ghana ID in America?" My daughter is a US citizen and when she asked me the question, I realized how nonsensical the Professor's assertion was.

So NIA will move equipment and personnel to USA, UK, UKRAINE, GREENLAND, ZAMBIA NEW ZEALAND , CANADA, PAKISTAN, BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA, HAITI, etc to issue cards to Ghanaians?

When people have decided to leave this country on their own volition to seek greener pastures abroad, the Law Professor wants to tell us he will use resident Ghanaian tax payers' money to go abroad to register Ghanaians.

Hmmmm..... Like my daughter asked, will the Ghana National ID be recognized for any transactions abroad?

Professor Ken Attafuah, please save your credibility. Don't allow yourself to be used for a politically motivated agenda that tarnishes your reputation.

Truly Yours

Concerned Citizen Kwaku Boateng.

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