Otiko evades Minority resistance to secure ministerial appointment

The minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba, has been approved by Parliament after voting, Tuesday.

Because the Minority stayed out of the voting process in opposition to her nomination, Madam Djaba needed to secure more than 50% of “Yes” votes to get the nod.

She obtained 152 votes in favour of her ministerial nomination, enough to put to rest the fierce resistance from the Minority to the ministerial appointee.

The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been working to get the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Women’s Organiser dropped on grounds that she failed to do her mandatory one-year National Service.

The Minority also doubted the appropriateness of Madam Djaba’s temperament for the ministerial portfolio.

The Minority thought she came off as disrespectful of authority during her vetting.

She had described former President John Mahama as “wicked” and “evil” for allegedly running down a project meant to bring development to the three regions of the north and livelihood empowerment to residents.

Otiko Djaba stood by her utterances despite efforts by the Minority to get her to retract and apologise for them.

The nominee was 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,” but she said she still stood by those words and will not apologize for them.

Her approval was deferred to today, Tuesday, February 7, 2016, after Parliament’s Appointment Committee failed to reach a consensus on her approval last week.

The Minority stayed out of the voting process to approve Madam Djaba, although members were present during the voting, describing the process as an illegality.

James Avedzi

Deputy Minority leader, James Klutsey Avedzi said his side does not want to be part of any process that breaches the law, referring to the National Service law that states that persons who fail to serve the nation after graduating from the tertiary level must not be employed.

“For us, we think the approval of this lady [Madam Djaba] is full of illegality,” he told Evans Mensah, host of Joy FM’s Top Story programme, Tuesday.

However, on the floor of Parliament during the heated debate the preceded the voting, Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu announced that Madam Djaba has secured a waiver from the National Service Scheme.

He said the waiver makes the ministerial appointee eligible to be employed in any institution in the country in accordance with the National Service Act 426.

On Monday, Minister-designate for Communications Ursula Owusu Ekuful; Minister-designate for Sanitation and Water Resources, Joseph Kofi Ada and Minister-designate for Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako Atta were approved by the Appointments Committee.

Others are Minister-designate for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Minister-designate for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Kwabena Frimpong Boateng.

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