A communication team member of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Charles Owusu has backed Gender Minister Nominee, Otiko Afisa Djaba for describing former President John Dramani Mahama as “wicked” and an “embarrassment” to Northerners.
After touring almost all the three Northern region last year, Charles Owusu says the NPP Women’s Organizer assertion was a wakeup call to the president rather than an insult as purported.
To him, Otiko’s words “wasn’t an insult. If we want someone to apologise, then it means that the former President [John Mahama] should do the honourable thing and apologize to Ghanaians and mostly the people of the Northern region.”
“He failed them totally. There’s nothing in the North that has been done through SADA. The guinea fowls are yet to return from their hideouts,” he said in an interview with Peacefmonline.com.
Gender Minister Nominee, Otiko Afisa Djaba during his vetting session at Parliament House in Accra refused to withdraw her comments made against former President John Dramani Mahama ahead of the 2016 elections.
The nominee 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,” Afisa Djaba said she spoke out of conviction and would not apologize or withdraw her comments.
“The President is my brother and I spoke from my convictions. I made the statements that I made as a wakeup call for him. We are building the nation. He was running for re-election and I felt that the people who should tell him as it is were not telling him as it was,” she stated.
“They decided that because he was my brother, they did not want me to speak and when I talked about him being an embarrassment, I spoke in relation to SADA. SADA is very dear to my heart. My mother is a Northerner, the incidence of poverty is highest in the three Northern Regions and for a President who comes from the Northern Region, who promised to alleviate poverty, what happened to the Guinea fowls? It was an embarrassment to me and to the North. The Chiefs of the North actually made that statement and so I don’t owe him or you any apology. We are developing and building a nation,” she added.
Hours after her appearance at the vetting committee, President of policy think tank IMANI, Franklin Cudjoe lashed out at the Minister-designate for performing poorly.
According to him, Otiko Afisa Djaba is a "pale shadow" of the immediate past Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur.
He said she [Otiko] was terrible at the Appointments Committee vetting – but Charles Owusu vehemently disagreed.
The PPP man believes Madam Otiko exhibited bravery and must be lauded for that rather than the condemnation from individuals such as Franklin Cudjoe.
"Why must we always condemn ladies for their bravery? Otiko stood by her words. If there is any apology the President and Franklin (Cudjoe) must apologize to her,” he noted.
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