Fimey Dzatugbi, a 54-year-old mother of four, is said to have died after she fell unconscious in a queue for the Ghana card registration at Ave-Xevi in the Akatsi North District of the Volta region, My News Ghana has established.
My News Ghana was told, hospital authorities at Atsikume Clinic, near Ave-Xavi Market pronounced her dead minutes after she was rushed to the facility by relatives and some people who were in the queue with her.
Mr Edwin Ahiabli, Programmes Director for the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) who briefed this portal said the deceased, who hailed ftom Ave-Gborxoxome allegedly spent the previous night at the registration centre with a few others, so they could have the opportunity to be registered for the card due to the long queue at the centre.
He said eyewitnesses said Madam Dzatugbi slumped over in the queue around 0945 hours and was rushed to the Clinic kilometres away but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Mr Ahiabli who was leading a team of officers from the Commission on tour of some centres and educating people on the relevance of the card and procedures involved in the registration said his team was told two women also collapsed in a long meandering queue at Ave-Xavi.
We also gathered that a middle-aged woman was also bitten by a snake at Abutia-Kloe in the Ho West District while sleeping at a registration centre in the farming community.
She was said to have survived the snake bite after she was given some herbs and later rushed to a health facility for attention.
Meanwhile, Mr. Francis Palmdeti, Director of Public Affairs, Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has said there was no need for people to sleep at registration centres for the card, saying, “we will try and register as many as we can. It is not a do or die matter. There will be more opportunities for all to register.
“Everybody should try and register. But if you are unable, the mop up would take care of that. Let’s all take advantage of the exercise”, he stated.
Mr Palmdeti explained that the National Identification Authority (NIA) would keep some 100 registration centres in the Volta Region for mop up after the official end of the registration exercise on August 14.
He said District Registration Officers would advise on areas to be served by the mop up centres.
“We will like to assure the people that we would not shut down fully on the 14th even as we close registration centres in the region”, Mr Palmdeti told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview monitored by My News Ghana
He said “the NIA is here to stay”, and would set up offices, or “co-locate” with some agencies like the DVLA, NHIA, SSNIT etc. to continue with registrations.
Mr Palmdeti said the mass registration phase was a requirement by the law, to be followed by continuous registration.
“The Plan is to register all Ghanaians aged zero to infinity. The mass registration would capture persons 15 years and above. Children aged 14 and below would be captured next year”, he stated.
Mr Palmdeti added that the “charge is free for all first time applicants. No charge. Not even a pesswa.”
He also said it was equally free for those unable to register during the mass registration, and that it was only the replacement of lost cards that would attract some fee.
The mass registration exercise is in its last days in the region with people struggling to register with many unable to receive their cards instantly due to technical hitches.