Parliament Kicks against  Births and Deaths  Names Ban Policy

Members of Parliament (MPs) of Ghana has kicked against any form decisional policies of  the Registry of Births and Deaths to ban some Ghanaian names with prefixes of titles.

According to the parliamentarians, beside the Registry decision not back by any law, it also have not such discretional powers to determine names parent should give to their children.

The MPs of both side of the house tools the swipe on the Register of Birth and Death when the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development Hajia Alima Mahama appeared before Parliament  yesterday, after she was summoned over the controversial policy.

Mr John Agbeko, Registrar at the Births and Deaths outfit, explained to some media that local names like “Nana, Nii,  Togbe, Revered, Professor, Dr, Pastor, etc,” are most used as stool names and title for leaders in the traditional setup.

According to him, parents choose these names (titles) to honour relatives who have played vital roles in their lives and do not want their names to be missing from their family.

The Registrar further suggested that such titles that the registry does not accept as part of names should only be used in the house and the community and not add them to name for birth registration.

The decision by the registrar of Births and Deaths was greeted by massive condemnation from the public.

But addressing Parliament Tuesday, Hajia Alima Mahama said the policy would  be reviewed and names that were banned by the Births and Deaths  now be accepted.

“With the sentiments expressed by the public, the acting Registrar for births and deaths registry has been directed to review the SOP and further directed that names such as Nana, Nii, Paapa and others as given by the parents should be accepted for registration,” Hon. Mahama told parliament.

The sector Minister said, Government has directed the Registry of Births and Deaths to review its operational guidelines banning some names as stated in the media.

However, contributing to the issue on the floor the MPs vehemently rejected the policy and said, names of that sort, though are deem to be titles, they are also specific names and that the Registerer has no such powers to direct parents not to name their children of names they so wish.

Dr Oko Vanderpuji, MP for Ablekuman South and immediate former Mayor of Accra Metropolis said, some of the titles are legitimate names in certain family and that the Registrar could not tell which is a title and a name.

He said the name Nii is a name in their family but could also be a title when one assumed a traditional role in his or her community.

Second Deputy Speaker , Hon Alban Bagbin, said, names like Naab or Naa though are Chieftaincy titles, such names are also given to people, especially twins in the Dagarti tradition.

Other MPs who contributed in kicking against the Registrar of Birth and Death policies were Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, Alhassan Suhuyini Sayibu, Anthony Osei AKOTO, Joseph Yieleh-Chireh and Ben Abdallah.


Source: Felix Engsalige Nyaaba

The Republic News Online

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