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Local Gov’t Minister heads to Parliament over Births and Deaths Registry’s anti-local names policy

Local Government Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, will be appearing before Parliament Tuesday to answer questions about the Births and Deaths Registry’s policy that bans the registration of some local names.

 Legislators have described the controversial policy as an act of lawlessness.

The Registry had maintained, the use of local names like ‘Nana’, ‘Torgbui’, ‘Nii’, ‘Maame’, ‘Junior’ which it says are titles, was not permissible by the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1965 (Act 301).

Also, the Registry, under the policy, will determine the order in which names must be written, giving prominence to foreign names over indigenous Ghanaian names.

Although the policy has been in existence for some time now, a publication in a local newspaper, The Heritage, on Thursday has generated public anger with many condemning it.

Ruling on the issue in Parliament Friday, Speaker Prof Mike Oquaye asked the Minister to appear in the house on Tuesday over the issue.

"We don't want to be surprised by the day in terms of such directives. On Tuesday, as parliament sits we require the Local Government Minister to come and justify this or let us know the measures taken to reverse this directive," he said.

Meanwhile, a Pressure group, OccupyGhana, has written to the Attorney-General, asking her to cause the Registry to withdraw the implementation of the policy.

It argues that the Act that empowers the strange policy - the Registration of Birth and Death Act, 1965 (Act 301) - may have been misconstrued.

Head of Communication of the Group, Nana Sarpong Agyemang Badu said the law does not mandate the Registry to deny registration of such names.

“We felt it was quite ridiculous for them to think that they have the power to do such a thing when they have not been given such a power by the law governing them,” he told Joy News.

Source: Myjoyonline

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