The National Identification Authority (NIA) has rescinded its decision to carry on with the registration exercise in the Eastern Region following public outcry and a suit filed against the authority.
“The Mass Registration Exercise currently underway in the Eastern Region has been suspended effective Saturday, 21st March 2020 pending the final determination of the application for interlocutory injunction,” a statement by the NIA on Friday said.
Many, including civil society groups and the Ghana Medical Association, condemned the Authority for going ahead with the exercise in spite of President Akufo-Addo’s directives banning public gathering to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
In the face of these criticisms, the NIA issued a statement to counter the public apprehension.
“The NIA’s conduct does NOT violate the President’s directives on public gatherings in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Authority said in a statement on Thursday, March 19.
“NIA is using a numbering and appointment system to manage queues at the registration centres and ensure that there is no crowd build-up and violation of social distancing protocols. All NIA field staff are being supplied with the requisite Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs), such as hand sanitizers and gloves. Veronica Buckets,water bowls, liquid soap and hand towels are also being provided at each registration centre.”
But two citizens sued the National Identification Authority arguing that the continuous registration and issuance of the Ghana card in the Eastern Region had a strong tendency in “aggravating the spread of the coronavirus”.
Barely a day after the suit, ACI. Francis Palmdeti Head of Corporate Affairs at NIA issued a statement suspending the exercise and directing all field officials to report to work and to render proper accounting of registration equipment, materials and consumables in their custody to their Supervising Registration Officers with immediate effect.
The supervisors are in turn to hand over the items under their care to their District Registration Officers who will confirm the inventory “while awaiting further directives from the Head of Operations, Colonel Peter Kofi Ghansah (Rtd)”.
Source: 3news.com | Ghana