The Deputy Ranking Member on the Communication Committee of Parliament, Samuel Nartey George, has blamed the Communication Ministry for the stampede that happened at the National Identification Authority’s head office on Tuesday, leaving one person critically injured.
The Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram attributed the incident to the poorly thought-through directions from the Minister of Communications that by March 31, 2022, if the SIM cards are not re-registered, they would be deactivated.
The MP, while addressing the press in Parliament, said that the directive put fear in some Ghanaians, hence the rush to meet the deadline causing the stampede.
He says the Minister for Communication and the Director-General of the National Communication Authority (NCA) could have been proactive to avert this incident.
“With deep hearts and sorrow in our minds as representative of the people that I address you, some very unfortunate incident has taken place at the Headquarters of the NIA office this afternoon. That incident is one that could have been avoided. A stampede occurred this afternoon due to the fear in the minds of Ghanaians based on the poorly thought-through directive of the Minister of Communication that all SIM cards will be deactivated on the night of March 31st if they are not re-registered.”
“The numbers at the NIA have increased as many are rushing in to get re-registered. This afternoon there was a stampede and one person is critically injured and in hospital while many others are suffering from various injuries. This shouldn’t have happened. The Minister for communication and the Director-General of the NIA are solely responsible for the incident that happened.”
He demanded an extension of the deadline for the re-registration and an apology to the families of the injured.
“We have picked snippets of the willingness to extend the deadline, and I do not know what is holding them back, perhaps the fear that they would be called out for the incompetence and cluelessness that characterised the original deadline. That fear has caused the stampede today.”
“We think that the Minister for Communication before the close of today must address this issue and revise or reverse a policy directive, reference timelines, and we must see an apology to families and the victims of the stampede.”