Member of Parliament for Wa Central Constituency, Rashid Pelpuo, says Otiko Djaba, the Minister-nominee for the Gender, Women and Social Protection Ministry, would have to apologize for her comments against former President John Mahama, before she is considered for approval. Ms. Djaba is on record to have directed at Mr. Mahama words considered insults by some members of the Minority in Parliament, and Mr. Pelpuo believes such conduct is not befitting of someone looking to head the Gender Ministry.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament on Friday before Ms. Djaba’s approval was put on hold, the MP said he was amazed by her posture during her vetting, which he said depicted a lack of humility and compassion. “My surprise is that, she is coming to occupy a ministry that demands a lot of compassion. She is going to occupy a ministry that demands a lot of humility, but she did not show any of these things when she was confronted with the question of insulting a former President. In our tradition, you don’t look in the face of the elderly and say; you are stupid, your head is big and you are evil; Nobody does that in our tradition.” Mr. Pelpuo explained that, Ms. Djaba would be expected to relate with the vulnerable sections of society and “for these areas the person occupying them would have to show that she can forgive.” She should also show that she can draw people together and can also demonstrate that they can show humility “but she did not show an inkling of humility, respect for elders and a demonstration that she can bring people together.”
Otiko must withdraw everything Mr. Pelpuo further suggested that, Ms. Djaba should withdraw her comments in the media, and use the same medium to apologize to Mr. Mahama and the people of Ghana. “If she has the opportunity, she should withdraw everything she said because the whole of the county was watching her, the psyche of the young people who were watching her was pricked negatively and I think that it has to be repaired.” “Mr. Speaker, because she did not reflect the kind of person who should occupy that position, I want to reflect that we suspend her approval and bring it up at a later time… she should go to the same media she went to insult the president and tell the people of Ghana that the position she is occupying does not merit the utterances she made,” an adamant Mr. Pelpuo stated.
I don’t owe Mahama an apology
The Gender Minister Nominee has already refused to withdraw her comments made against Mr. Mahama. Speaking during her vetting Ms. Djaba said she owes the former President no apology for her comments. Queried by some of the Minority members on the panel for describing the former president as “wicked, evil and someone with a heart of the devil,” Ms. Djaba said she spoke out of conviction and would not apologize or withdraw her comments.
Parliament approves Dan Botwe, 4 others; Otiko put on hold Meanwhile Parliament today [Friday], approved the nomination of five additional ministerial nominees to serve in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government. The House, after about 2 hours of debate on the third report of the Appointments Committee for the approval on the nominees, passed five out of the six nominees to serve in their respective ministerial portfolios. The nominees are John Peter Amewu (Lands and Natural resources), Ignatius Baffuor Awuah (Employment and Labour relations), Samuel Atta Akyea (Works and Housing), and Dan Botwe (Regional reorganization and Development), and Anthony Akoto Osei (Monitoring and Evaluation). The approval of the minister nominee for Gender, Women and Social protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba, was however put on hold over challenges raised by the minority side of the vetting committee. Aside the issues of her temperament and attitude raised by the minority, they are also rejecting her nomination on grounds that she did not undertake the mandatory national service, something she confessed to during her vetting. The Speaker of Parliament has set Tuesday February 7, 2017, for the House to vote on Otiko Djaba’s approval, since the House is unable to reach a consensus following the minority’s rejection.
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