DVLA apologizes to Rastafarian community

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The Chief Executive Officer of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) Kwasi Agyemang Busia has rendered an unqualified apology to the Rastafarian community in Ghana over an unsavoury comment made against them by the Western Regional Head of the Authority.

Mr. Emmanuel Narh openly stated that his outfit does not issue licenses to every Rastafarian who applies for one.

He claimed that some Rastafarians smoke marijuana or ‘wee’ most of whom live in the ghettos and might pose a risk behind the steering wheel.

“In Ghana, there are two types of Rastafarian groups; there are those who are Rastafarians for religious purposes. When you come to DVLA, it’s not every Rastafarian that we don’t give licenses to. We ask you; if you belong to a credible religious group, you need to show us an ID, then it convinces us that may be in your family background, there’s a reason why you don’t have to cut your hair. When that happens, we can give you the license. Or that you belong to a Rasta religious group that comports itself very well; that way if you show us your ID, we will give you a license or take you to a driving school for training.”

“But if we don’t identify you as belonging to any of such groups and that you came from some ghetto with your unkempt Rasta and we have all the evidence, nobody will mind you. There are some of them when they come, apart from the Rasta, if you look at their eyes and demeanour, you can conclude that he has smoked terribly. So such a person, you can’t give him the license, I am speaking the facts” he stated.

Irked by Mr Narh’s comment, the Rastafarian Council in a statement signed by its National President Ahumah Boscoe Ocansey, called for the former’s removal from office, saying “he is not fit to hold such a dignified public office.”

But addressing the Press in Takoradi, the CEO of DVLA Mr Kwasi Agyeman Busia condemned Mr Narh’s comment describing it as regrettable.

“In our regime, there’s nothing about religion and displaying of what religion one belongs to before you’re given a drivers license. We are a government institution and we provide service regardless of colour or creed, heigh, sexual preference, none of that is relevant to the process. So I apologize on behalf of the Authority to Rastafarian community for the utterances of the official in the Western Region. We don’t have room for this in our establishment it is uncalled for, it is imprudent and it’s even morally wrong. I wanted to clear the air that this is not the practice we engage in at the DVLA.”

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