General News of Tuesday, 31 January 2017
Otiko Afisa Djaba is a “pale shadow” of the immediate past Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Nana Oye Lithur, founding president of civil society group Imani Africa, Franklin Cudjoe has said.
Mr Cudjoe’s description of Ms Djaba as such follows the former’s vetting by parliament’s Appointments Committee on Monday, 30 January at which she refused to backtrack on her characterisation of former president John Mahama as “an embarrassment” to people of northern extraction, a wicked” leader as well as a man with the “heart of the devil.”
Ms Djaba insisted, despite all efforts to get her to apologise, that she had nothing to apologise to Mr Mahama for.
She said as a person of northern lineage, she personally felt “embarrassed” by the former president’s handling of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) project, thus, her description of Mr Mahama as an “embarrassment to northerners”, since, in her view, the programme, which was meant to develop the impoverished parts of northern Ghana, got fraught with corruption under the former president.
She also justified her description of Mr Mahama as a “wicked” man, since, in her view, the former president imposed a lot of hardships on Ghanaians during his term of office.
Explaining herself to the Appointments Committee, Ms Djaba said: “I spoke from my convictions,” and, so, “I don’t owe him [Mr Mahama] or you [Alhassan Suhuyini] any apology. … My comment about he being an embarrassment was in relation to SADA, it was in relation to SADA that I said he had embarrassed Northerners and the Northern chiefs themselves had come to say same,” Ms Djaba justified, adding that: “When I talked about his wickedness, the people of Ghana were asking for reductions, they were asking for ‘dumsor’ to be solved, people were losing jobs and so forth … what I said was within the context of that period.”
When asked by Tamale South MP Haruna Iddrisu if she would withdraw those words owing to their harshness, which the Minority took “strong exception to”, Ms Djaba retorted: “Are you saying that we cannot criticise in this country? Are you saying that my right to speak [is curtailed?] … It was not an insult, it was a criticism and I’m allowed as a citizen of Ghana to criticise the president and these are descriptive words, it is not an insult.”
Asked by Mr Iddrisu if she stood by her words, Ms Djaba said: “Yes Mr Chairman. … I did not insult the president, I criticised him.”