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Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is not convinced with the explanation given by the immediate-past Minister of Gender, Child and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba, for turning down her new appointment as Ghana’s Ambassador to Italy and subsequently quitting politics.
Ms Djaba explained that: “At 56 years, I want to relax and enjoy my family and life and, therefore, I am not ready to take up the appointment as Ambassador to Italy”, adding that she was bowing out of politics to take care of her ex-husband who has had stroke for the past six years.
She said she had communicated same to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
But Mr Ablakwa believes “all is not well within the Akufo-Addo government”.
In a Facebook post, he hoped Ms Djaba’s decision to reject her new appointment would not mar Ghana’s relationship with Italy.
The lawmaker described Ms Djaba’s retirement as “curious”.
The post read: “Learning of Otiko Djaba’s rather abrupt and curious retirement from politics. While wishing her well in her future endeavours, it does appear that contrary to what they would want us to believe, all is not well within the Akufo-Addo Government. This fact is further buttressed by the recent astonishing claims from the Health Minister that some ‘enemies’ within want him sacked. As pundits will most likely conclude; these internal rifts will potentially have far-reaching governance consequences for our country.
“That said, and while acknowledging that the former Gender, Child and Social Protection Minister deserves some privacy at this juncture, a critical concern ought to be Ghana’s relations with Italy. I do hope this avoidable quagmire will be delicately managed if not late in the day, so as not to convey a negative impression that we are toying with our long-standing strategic relations with the Italians. No receiving country is flattered to discover that an envoy so appointed is unwilling – to say the least, and that the appointing authority apparently did little or no homework before announcing such an appointment to the world.
“And, if I may, perhaps, it is time for President Akufo-Addo to seize this opportunity and appoint a career diplomat instead, since the current ratio precariously discriminates against career diplomats in favour of political appointees. This flies in the face of the government’s own 60:40 pledge. It is no longer a secret that this issue is threatening morale amongst our illustrious foreign service staff and already causing much grumbling.”
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