General News of 2013-02-03

Kwabena Agyapong: Appointments Committees’ Probing Not Enough

A former press secretary to ex-President J. A. Kufuor, Kwabena Agyepong, has said the Appointments Committee of parliament could have asked more probing questions when then minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, appeared before them.

According to him, Parliament as an institution must “reflect the mood to the people” and in his view, they have fallen short of that because majority of Ghanaians are not in agreement with their approval of the Gender, Children and Social Protection minister.

Nana Oye Lithur is the Executive Director of the Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRC), a human rights lawyer and a gender activist.

She has been involved with the Coordinated African Regional Survey on access to information for Ghana, as well as running an access to Justice Program and a Human Rights clinic and coordinating the Coalition on the Freedom of Information Bill in Ghana.

Her nomination by President John Dramani Mahama, has proven to be the most controversial as far as appointments in this administration is concerned, because of her role and views as far as homosexuality is concerned.

Kwabena Agyapong believes the committee members could have delved deeper to ask more probing questions on behalf of Ghanaians, with regards to foreign aid or support that may have been given by Gay Rights Activists or groups to her Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), the Human Rights Advocacy Centre.

He said these questions are important because, if it is the case that Nana Oye Lithur had received support from any Gay Rights group in the past, then there was going to serious pressure on her from the Gay community to advance their cause.

He was speaking on Joy FM’s political talk show program, “News file,” on Saturday, on the vetting and approval of Nana Oye Lithur by Parliament.