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The saga of Otiko Afisah Djaba’s drawn-out approval by parliament should not have an effect on her performance in office, political science lecturer, Abass Mohammed, has said.
Ms Djaba, appearing before parliament’s Appointments Committee last week to be vetted for the position of Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister, stood by comments she made about former president John Dramani Mahama while the latter was in office.
She described the president as an “embarrassment” to Northerners for failing to act on the rot that characterised the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), originally intended to improve the economic wellbeing of Ghanaians from the three regions of the North.
The Women’s Organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had also said Mr Mahama had the face of an innocent man but was “wicked” and “evil”.
Asked if she would like to retract her comments, Ms Djaba refused, saying she made those remarks within the situation at the time and out of conviction.
Minority MPs on the committee voted against her nomination and all NDC legislators abstained from voting on her nomination when the matter on her nomination came up for discussion by the entire house.
Ms Djaba was subsequently approved after obtaining 153 votes, more than half of the required votes from the 275-member house, paving the way for her swearing-in a few hours later by the president.
There are suggestions the controversy that dogged Ms Djaba’s approval may weigh on her delivery on the job.
But in an interview with Katakyie Obeng Mensah on Accra News on Wednesday February 8, Mr Abass expressed a different view.
According to him, unlike a faint-hearted nominee who wilts once a storm emerges over her appointment, Ms Djaba has the mental fortitude to ride it and settle into office and undertake her duties effectively as if nothing happened, her fortitude evidenced by her decision to stand by her comments despite calls to take them back.
“Such a person I expect her to put this behind her because it is a challenging issue. That has now passed and she has to focus on the job at hand. So given the type of person she is, I believe she will not be affected, she will be able to do her work without worry,” Mr Abass stated.
However, the KNUST lecturer said the entire saga only went to entrench the “NDC-NPP politics” the country’s lawmakers have prioritised over “national development” as it appeared opposition MPs only held back the approval of Ms Djaba because of a “personal problem” they had with her.
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