The minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba, has refused to apologise to former president John Mahama for describing him as “wicked” and “evil”.
Addressing supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) during electioneering at Asawase in the Ashanti region, the NPP National Women’s organizer said: “President Mahama’s time is up…president Mahama is extremely wicked and so he must step down.”
Her choice of words did not go down well with the members of the Appointments Committee of parliament on the minority side.
They thus impressed on her to withdraw and apologize to former president Mahama.
In her response, however, Ms Djaba said she does not owe the former president any apology, arguing that she was simply exercising her freedom of speech.
“I’m allowed as a citizen of Ghana to criticize the [former] president John Mahama…. my words weren’t insulting, they were descriptive,” she told the committee in response to a follow up question from Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu who is also a ranking member of the committee.
Angered by the nominee’s response, Mr. Iddrisu said: “We take strong exception to Otiko’s description of president Mahama as wicked and insensitive.”
Ms. Djaba insisted she will not withdraw her words because Mahama failed “Northerners” which affected her “directly.”
She also denied ever backing “sex-for-job” claims leveled against Charlotte Osei, the chair of the Electoral Commission in June by Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong.
According to her, her position was that the allegation by the Assin Central legislator should have been investigated so doubts were not left in the minds of Ghanaians contrary to claims that she supported him.
“I emphatically and categorically state that I did not denigrate madam Charlotte Osei, all I said was that an investigation should be conducted so that her name is cleared,” she told the committee.