Births and Deaths Registry anti-local names directive misunderstood – Expert

A local government expert has risen to the defense of the Births and Deaths Registry, describing its anti-local names registration policy as relevant.

Dr Eric Oduro Osae said the directive on the non-registration of some local names such as Nana and Nii is to avoid duplicity and prevent foreigners from easily acquiring Ghanaian birth certificates and other documents.

Speaking to Emefa Apawu on Joy FM’s Top Story Friday, the governance expert said the position of the Registry on the matter has been misunderstood by Ghanaians.

There is public uproar following reports that the Registry has blacklisted names like Nana, Nii, Naa, Nhyira, Dromo, Dzormo and Junior from being registered at its registration centres.

The leadership of Parliament has expressed its outrage over the matter, labeling it as a needless controversy.

Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu has said the local names are part of the Ghanaian culture that cannot be done away with.

He has served notice the attempt to seek an amendment of the Births and Deaths Registry Act (ACT 301) will not pass through Parliament.

Local Governments Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama

Local Governments Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama and the Director of the Registry have been summoned before Parliament to “justify or reverse” the directive.

Member of Parliament’s Local Government Committee, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye has given the assurance the issue will be resolved.

“This whole thing is totally unnecessary,” he said of the controversy created by the Registry.

But Dr Oduro Osae said the directive will help sanitize the country’s registration system and avoid duplication of local names in the register.

“What the Director is trying to prevent is duplicity and foreigners who find out easy going names to acquire our birth certificates and Ghana documents,” Dr Oduro Osae said.

He said the Registry is rather against people who are trying to register names they acquired in life and not the ones they were given at birth.

“This is something that they [Registry] are trying to prevent [but] it is a matter of system and policy,” Dr Oduro Osae said.

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