The Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament has questioned the sense of dressing of the General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, in the international arena which it claims had caused a lot of embarrassment to the country.
According to the party, ‘The sight of Asiedu Nketia, an important public figure and NDC General Secretary, in a line of dignitaries which included our President and the Foreign Minister wearing a woman’s overcoat in Germany was ludicrous.’
Asiedu Nketia, aka General Mosquito, recently wore a lady’s winter jacket to Germany during President John Mahama’s state visit to the European country.
When confronted with the fact he put a brave face on it, saying, ‘The coat belongs to my wife and I have worn it several times without any problem. I have been using it for my travels.
‘I took it to China, London, Denmark and other places. That’s what I have been using so I don’t understand why some people should get worried about what I wear.’
However, the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Isaac Osei, who was addressing a press conference in Parliament yesterday, said: ‘I don’t want to believe that the president wanted to proclaim through Mr Asiedu Nketia, his government’s position on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender).’
He continued, ‘I will not say that Mr Asiedu Nketia has transgender tendencies and in Ghana there is no law against such preferences, but our society frowns on men dressing up like women, except in a concert or fancy dress party. In fact, we call them ‘Kojo Besia.’
Mr Osei said the whole saga calls for another look at the comportment, dress sense and etiquette of ministers and other senior officials, especially when they travel to transact business on behalf of government.
‘Perhaps the NDC government will consider taking these officers through some of the courses routinely given to Foreign Service Officers and Ambassadors so that our officials are not ridiculed to the extent that the president’s discussions in Germany were pushed to the background while Asiedu Nketia’s famous female coat became the story and continues to make the headlines,’ he proposed.
Rubygate Cocaine Scandal
Mr Osei expressed the Minority’s disappointment in government’s inability to put stringent measures in place to deal with the cocaine issues confronting the nation once and for all, in view of the embarrassment caused by the Nayele Amatefe aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi cocaine scandal.
He said the comments of the Foreign Minister, Hannah Tetteh, in November 2014 on Radio Gold that Ruby had allegedly discussed privately with officials of the Ghana High Commission in London was ‘strange and certainly unacceptable.’
According to Mr Osei, the minister talked about an unnamed businessman who had facilitated Ruby’s passage through the (V)VIP lounge at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) and said that Ruby boarded the aircraft with only her handbag and that someone then brought Ruby a bag which she believed contained gold.
‘Indeed, the least we expected was for the minister to tell us what measures she was putting in place to ensure that the VIP and VVIP lounges are truly reserved for our most senior officials and people and to condemn, in no certain terms, this despicable act of exporting narcotic drugs through a restricted area of our airport. We must have in place strict protocols which ought to be published and strictly followed,’ he said.
The NPP called on government to institute an independent public investigation into the matter.
‘Perhaps our sole concentration on catching those who export cocaine leaves us little cover on cocaine imports into Ghana. Every Ghanaian knows that cocaine is not produced in Ghana. It must be coming in from elsewhere,’ he noted.
$3m Brazil Debacle
According to the minority spokesman, the call by President Mahama to put the events at the 2014 Brazil World Cup behind the country would be very difficult, looking at the chain of reactions.
The Minority described the ferrying of physical cash to pay the Black Stars players’ appearance fees in the World Cup tournament was rather shameful and would be difficult to forget that singular act of indiscretion by the government.
‘Mr President, forgetting Brazil will not be easy. The disgrace the NDC government brought to our country played out in the international public space when the government chartered a plane to ferry over $3 million cash to share to players and officials. The spectacle of security guards escorting the cash in Brazil became the stuff in Hollywood gossip. The sight of Ghanaian players counting their money hours before a crucial game put Ghana up for public ridicule, and all this was because of the trust deficit which the NDC government found it difficult to bridge,’ he underscored.
By Cephas Larbi
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