The President of Garden City University, Dr. Wihelmina Donkoh, has described the banning of names by the Births and Deaths Registry as an infringement on human rights.
According to her, names are identifiers that are conferred on people by parents, relatives or sometimes adopted by individuals which are backed by reasons and must be respected.
“No other person has the right to determine what should be your name unless of course there is a state law that categorically says that maybe nobody should have more than two names or certain number of names for a given reason. Otherwise, it is your right to determine how you should be named and even the spelling” she stated.
Speaking on Radio GIJ’s morning Dew program, Dr. Donkoh, also a social and cultural historian added that names are very relevant to Ghanaians and cultures in the world because people name their children after a revered personality or ancestor.
“If the registrar is going to accept names like prince, princess, Queen and so on, then what is his problem with too many Naa’s, Nana, Maame, and the rest. When you go to China, you’ll find names like Khan even in Asia, Pakistan and some parts of India. So are you going to say that they are many so you won’t register them?” she questioned.
Meanwhile, the Births and Deaths Registry, a department under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, has been directed to accept the registration of names they previously deemed titles when they appeared before parliament today.
The Registry came under public criticism for issuing a directive to ban names like Nana, Nii, Naa, Junior and other local names, saying they are for chiefs and are not acceptable for registration under a said law.
This led Parliament to summon the sector minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, and the registrar of the Birth and Deaths Registry, John Agbeko, to appear before parliament on Tuesday, January 30, 2018.