The decision of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to let two of its executives off the hook following an ugly public spat between them was a slap on the wrist, Abdul-Malik Kweku Baako, the editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide, has said.
The NPP’s National Women’s Organiser and Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba, and the party’s Northern regional chairman, Daniel Bugri Naabu, were involved in exchanges in the media after the latter scuttled a meeting between Ms Djaba and some constituency women’s organisers from the Northern Region because he was not informed about it. Mr Naabu also alleged that Ms Djaba was scheming to ensure that his choice of candidate for regional School Feeding coordinator would be rejected by the president and replaced with her pick.
Ms Djaba in response accused Mr Naabu of taking cows and goats as bribe to offer people jobs. Mr Naabu replied by accusing Otiko of being a controversial person in the party and having a hand in the death of the late Upper East regional chairman of the party, Adams Mahama.
The two subsequently apologised for the recriminations following a directive from the party to them. They have also been bonded indefinitely to be of good behaviour.
But Mr Baako said Mr Naabu and Ms Djaba deserved more serious punishment.
“I would have preferred more severe sanctions. If you go into their constitution, any person who brings the party’s image into disrepute must be sent through certain disciplinary proceedings. I think this one is a bit soft…” he noted on Multi TV’s Newsfile on Saturday May 13.
Drawing comparisons, he said in the case of former Central Regional Minister Isaac Edumadze, who commandeered a taxi at gun point and had it driven from Suhum to his residence in the Central Region back in 2001 because its driver was driving recklessly, then President Kufuor called for a public statement to be made on the front page of national dailies reprimanding the Minister for his actions. Thus, the conduct of the two party executives – not least with the “weight of the allegations by [Mr] Naabu” – when viewed against Mr Edumadze’s, merited a minimum of a suspension.
He added: “In this case, it’s these people who have come to tell us that they are apologising; it’s softer if you compare it to what Edumadze went through. I think a suspension, maybe, would have been more useful.”