The nomination of Madam Otiko Afisa Djaba as Minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection is said to face objection from the Minority Caucus in Parliament.
The Minority in Parliament is reportedly not in agreement with approving Otiko Djaba to the Gender Ministry after she appeared before the Parliamentary Appointments Committee (PAC) to be vetted.
During her vetting, she was asked by some minority members on the Committee, principally the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, to retract some disparaging comments she is alleged to have made about former President John Dramani Mahama prior to the last year's elections.
The Minister-designate however refused to retract and apologize to the former President.
Following her appearance before the Appointments Committee, there are reports she may not gain the approval of the minority on grounds that she failed to undergo National Service, a prerequisite for appointment as a Public Servant, and also vilified the former President but refused to eat back her words.
Speaking on "Alhaji and Alhaji" on Radio Gold, Kwesi Pratt Jnr. came to the defence of Otiko Djaba, claiming she can't be disqualified for allegedly casting aspersions on the former President.
According to Mr. Pratt, there have been several instances where some leaders in the country have been hailed for their ability to insult, and so wondered why the Gender Minister-designate should be set as a scape goat.
“How can we disqualify Madam Otiko Djaba simply because she insulted or allegedly insulted former President Mahama? In this country, some of the people who have been at the echelon of power have been most insulting. They’ve used far-weightier expressions than that of Madam Otiko Djaba and indeed, even today, there are people who exercise tremendous power who continue to insult and nobody is arguing that we should remove them from their positions.
“So, it will be a mark of hypocrisy if a country which tolerates, has tolerated, and it appears to continue to tolerate insults in public discourse, singles out Madam Otiko Djaba and frustrates her appointment simply because she insults. And I’m not saying for one moment that insults in public discourse is acceptable. It is not acceptable. It is an aberration. In fact, it does not make it possible for us to address the concrete issue before us. It should be discouraged. But I’m saying, I’m asking; why do we treat Madam Otiko Djaba differently from others?” he queried.
To him, the public discourse should center on whether Otiko Djaba is lawfully fit to hold her position.
Mr. Pratt argued that the country's laws do not permit a person to hold public office if he or she hasn't done his or her national service and so, asked "are we going to uphold the law or we’re not going to uphold the law? That is the issue before us…The point is what does our law say about national service? It’s a matter of law.”
In his view, by her (Otiko Djaba) admission before the Committee that she failed to do her national service; it is prudent for the legislators to apply the laws the country.
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