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Editorial: Troubling signs for 2023

Report of dubious mass production of fake national identification cards in Maryland County by unscrupulous individuals impersonating staffers of the National Identification Registry is worrisome and should draw immediate attention of relevant authorities to avoid a negative impact on the pending presidential and general elections next year.

National Identification Registry Executive Director Teah Nagbe, who made the disclosure Tuesday at a news conference in Congo Town, said there’s a case involving issuance of fake National Identification Cards by unscrupulous individuals, and called on the public to be on the alert.

The information comes at a time Liberians are gearing up for elections next year, and unscrupulous individuals may attempt to falsify Liberian Citizenship to obtain voter’s cards and participate in the elections.

We vividly recall during the December 8, 2020, Special Senatorial Elections that several unscrupulous individuals, including Sierra Leoneans, were caught in position of Liberian voter’s cards in Gbarpolu and Bomi counties, attempting to participate in the polls. The culprits were in collusion with some Liberian politicians in carrying out the criminal act.

Director Nagbe claimed that some residents of Maryland county are involved in the scam to boost their household numbers for relief purposes.  But the fact of the matter is that the entire national identification card process at the National Identification Registry has been characterized by lapses with non-Liberians getting registered.

The N.I.R. boss himself had gone to the county earlier this year to pre-campaign for the senate. This scam could possibly be his own making to boost his bid for the senate and probably win the poll by having his supporters registered ahead of 2023.

The 54th Legislature invited Director Nagbe some time ago to explain his pre-campaign activities in the county, which directly comes in conflict with his function as head of the National Identification Registry.

We do not know how many other dubious individuals may be out there with fake national identification cards, positioned to commit sinister acts. We call on state security and all patriotic Liberians to be on the alert for people bent on circumventing the system for personal benefit at the expense of the national interest.

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The 2023 elections will be very crucial for the country, and everything should be done to avert attempts to manipulate the process by flooding people for the interest of any selfish politician.

Director Nagbe should resign from the N.I.R. to enable him focus on his political ambition, rather than wanting to be a referee and player at the same time, which totally contravenes the code of conduct for public officials.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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