General News of Wednesday, 13 June 2018
Ms Felicity Nelson, a member of feminist group Pepperdem Ministries, has, in her personal capacity, lampooned the Akufo-Addo government over the Presidency’s suspension of one of her Pepperdem colleagues, Dr Louise Carol Serwaa Donkor, who works as a Policy and Communication Analyst at the Jubilee House, for making what Chief of Staff Frema Osei-Opare describes as “unsavoury” comments about “a section of Ghanaians” on social media.
Ms Osei-Opare wrote an official letter to Mr Eugene Owusu, Special Advisor to the President on SDGs, to suspend Dr Donkor, for making some anti-foot soldier comments recently.
The Chief of Staff said Dr Donkor has misconducted herself hence the request for her suspension.
In the letter dated 12 June 2018, Ms Osei-Opare noted that her attention “has been drawn to some unsavoury comments attributed to Dr Louise Carol Serwaa Donkor, the Policy and Communication Analyst, at your outfit
“These comments sought to disparage a section of the Ghanaian society, a conduct which is unacceptable to this Office.
“Consequently, you are directed to suspend Dr Donkor from office for a period of thirty days beginning the 13th day of June 2018.
“Further, she is required to render, in writing, an unconditional apology and commit to good behaviour”.
On Sunday, 10 June, Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), said it was “stupidity” for Dr Donkor to have denigrated foot soldiers who worked hard to ensure victory for the party.
According to him, such attitude smacks of gross political immaturity.
Dr Louise Carol Serwaa Donkor had said in response to a post by Ms Nelson about not dealing with foot soldiers that: “You shouldn’t”, and encouraged her friend who posted it that: “You can’t reason with them [foot soldiers]”.
“It’s like tribalist”, she added. She has since apologised for her comments.
Weighing in on the matter, Mr Otchere-Darko, wrote on Facebook that: “I hold no brief for a young woman who owes her appointment to an election victory won largely by those who in various ways did the legwork and/or heavy-lifting to make it happen and yet decided to diss them.
“She showed gross political immaturity (in fact, stupidity) by denigrating party foot soldiers the way she did – totally unprovoked by them. She has apologised. I suspect this week has been one of her worst, if not the worst, in her entire young life. I hope so! Hey guys! Move on! Surely, you can’t care much about a lady who chose to merely gargle from the fountain of political wisdom to hate her that much. She cannot be worth your precious emotions until she learns how to drink from that fountain. Move on! Show you have better things to focus on. If you do go to Church today and perchance ask for forgiveness, I hope you expect the Almighty to be merciful. How much more you! Show strength, people!”
Without speaking for Pepperdem as a group, an enraged and furious Ms Nelson, who serves as an in-house panelist on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show, told sit-in host Benjamin Akakpo on Wednesday, 13 June, that: “Right now, I think that we are actually going into an era in which we are doing government by foot soldiers. … There was no mention of NPP or NDC, so, I’m quite surprised that NPP people have taken it so personally”.
She continued: “I think it [the backlash] was completely unwarranted. And actually, there was a lot of misogynistic focus in terms of the insults … where people were saying she slept her way into her position, there was a lot of comments about ‘she’s ugly’, you know a lot of social media bullying by people who are even presidential staffers themselves. She has a PhD and she actually got a scholarship to do this PhD and it wasn’t given by the government.
“Just a few weeks ago, we had Nii Teiko Tagoe, who is also a presidential staffer, say that the guy who went to protest [for the opening of the University of Ghana Medical Centre at a programme attended by First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo], ‘in another country, he could have been shot’, he is still at post. We had Napaga, in January, she said that they should stop giving her CVs when they meet her at official events, she is still at post, so, I think it’s very interesting now when Louise makes this comment, it wasn’t even directed at any [party] and this whole thing of ‘a section of Ghanaians’, what does that mean? Is government supposed to serve the public interest or is it supposed to serve a section of Ghanaian society?
“I think even they [Presidency] know that it is so petty and so ridiculous… Why didn’t they say that: ‘We want to appease our foot soldiers because we failed to give them jobs, we failed to give them the healthcare they deserve, we don’t give them ambulances if they go to the hospitals, no oxygen, we haven’t given you the factories we promised … so what we are going to do is that we are going to use this to distract them from the things that we have actually failed to provide’, so, that’s what this really is and I’m so appalled, I’m really appalled … I’m so ashamed to be Ghanaian today because I actually voted for this government, today I am ashamed”, Ms Nelson fumed.