Diasporian News of 2014-06-27

Why is the Ghana Consul in Belgium being irrationally obsessive?

Desirous to get to the bottom of the on-going hurdles and inconveniences faced by Ghanaians resident in Belgium regarding their acquisition of replacement Ghanaian passports, I have visited the Embassy’s website myself. Below is the entire reproduction of their requirements.
“Home - Consular - Passport Application Passport Application
Requirements Checklist
Four (4) identical passport-sized photos.
Proof of Ghanaian citizenship (originals only).
Documents to support identity (originals only).
Previous Ghanaian passport, if necessary.
Processing fee.
Lost, Damaged or Stolen Passports:
Applicants must produce a Police Report, a birth certificate, an affidavit and Proof of Identity.
Change of Name:
This must be supported by duly-authenticated documents.
Method of Payment
At the moment we accept only payment by cash at the mission
Consular fees once paid are not refundable
The application should be submitted with four (4) standard passport-sized photographs taken full face on a plain background within six months of the date of application. One of the photographs should be certified as a true likeness of the applicant by the witness.
Please download the Passport Application Forms from the link below, fill it online, print it out, and then submit it at the Embassy in person”
Under the “Stolen Passport”, a proof of identity is required. Here is where the Consul himself, now established to be the person refusing Ghanaians replacement passport upon their failure to produce biometric voter’s identity card, is being stringently exaggerative. Does that proof of identity necessarily or obligatorily have to be a biometric voter’s registration card but nothing else? How many Ghanaian immigrants in Europe, America, and Asia etc. do have the card as requested by the Consul?
How many Ghanaians had the opportunity to be biometrically registered when Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan stealthily conducted some registration of Ghanaians abroad that he could later not justify the number of persons registered? Let it be known to the Consular officer at the Ghana Embassy in Belgium that it was not all Ghanaians that were registered to be issued a biometric voter’s card. Therefore, his insistence on would-be passport applicants providing such a document is overstating.
How does a Ghanaian acquire a biometric voter’s card both in Ghana and abroad? What are the requirements to satisfy before one is issued that card? Does it not suffice for a Ghanaian to produce an NHIS card to be registered for a biometric voter’s card as per the Electoral Commission headed by Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan? Does the Consul not realise the relative ease with which both legal and illegal persons do avail themselves of the acquisition of NHIS or National Health Services (NHS) cards both in Ghana and in some advanced countries?
If he thinks the only way to ensure a Nigerian does not walk off the street into the Embassy to obtain a passport is to oblige people to produce a biometric voter’s card in addition to a police report, a birth certificate and an affidavit, then I am afraid he has erred. His policy or method is not all that foolproof. Where is the guarantee that a Nigerian that he fears that much cannot easily acquire an NHIS card upon which he can obtain a voter’s card to submit to him when that Nigerian really wants a Ghana passport?
I find his obsession with demanding for the voter’s card as a safeguard against abuse of acquiring Ghanaian passport by non Ghanaians very excessive. He had better find another way around what has become his phobia to denying genuine Ghanaians a passport.
I am still on this issue. Time is against me so I will call it a day. However, I will hit back another time soon. Until I see a positive non discriminatory policy in place, I shall not spare these officials who are taking vulnerable Ghanaians for granted, the rod. I shall offer him some suggestions in my next write-up as the way forward.
Rockson Adofo
Source: Adofo, Rockson
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