NPP Defends Affirmative Action; Admits Poor Timing

The National Women’s Organiser of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Otiko Afisa Djaba, has apologized to members of the party who have expressed opposition to the new directive from the executive committee allowing only women to contest in constituencies with female incumbent Members of Parliament (MPs).

Madam Djaba defended the party’s decision but accepted blame for failing to communicate it properly to the party faithful.
According to her, the inappropriate timing of the announcement and the failure of the executive committee of the party to properly educate members on the new directive is responsible for the recent hostility.
“The NPP has taken a very bold step to support and address and transform this country with our women. Unfortunately some people felt that they were not consulted and I agree and I am very sorry. That is the real cause of all the agitation. Because every right goes with a responsibility and when you want to implement a new thing there will be agitations and to reduce the agitations, you need to sensitize and school people,” she explained on Citi FM‘s news analysis programme The Big Issue on Saturday.
“That does not take away from the fact that this is a policy that should be adopted nationally. So I would like to apologize as a development practitioner, as a planner that we were not able to give the necessary sensitization and if you look at the timing, it is not fair,” she added.
She was certain that the current number of women representatives in Parliament is unfortunate given the importance of women to the development of the country.
“The development of women is together with the development of a nation. A measure of a how a country fares is how it treats its women and children. You don’t need to have a research paper to tell that when you have 275 seats in Parliament and you only have 30 it is a problem,” she said.
News of the directive taken by the party’s Executive Committee was badly received by some members who marched to the Party’s headquarters and the lower West Akyim party office in protest of the decision.
The Coalition for the Defence of Equal Citizenship (CODEC) has also called on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to either withdraw what it describes as “obnoxious and divisive” directives it recently introduced or face a series of demonstrations from them.
As a result of the antagonism, the party has planned an emergency NEC meeting on May 24 to review the directive.