During her vetting, a number of issues came up. These included issues on her hairstyle, relationship with her mother, and some unsavoury comments she made about former President Mahama in 2016.
One would have expected the Minister to stop commenting on everything in the media and get to work just to prove to the minority that she could ‘deliver’. But she started making comments most people found unworthy of a minister of state.
Don’t tell me she was talking because the media kept engaging her. She could have denied commenting and it wouldn’t have killed her. Media personnel will always hand you a microphone. It is up to you to know when to keep quiet. Just a little reminder here, for the media, sometimes bad news could prove good for their line of work.
Otiko Afisa Djaba first had what seemed to be a media brawl with the Minority in Parliament on issues which came up during her vetting process.
“My hairstyle doesn't affect the price of kenkey, my hairstyle does not affect poverty, my hairstyle is a winning hairstyle, it encourages the young people. Ghana has about 65% of our population being the youth and being the Swagger Mama I believe that I am the best person to engage the youth.”
“It is the propaganda of my opponents; they wish they had my hairstyle, they wish their wives had my hairstyle.”
Nobody from the NPP or government condemned her comments.
After she was sworn-in, most people expected her to guard her tongue. However, this is one thing she has failed to do.
She had a short media brawl with her sister Joyce Bawa Mugtari. Who solves family issues in the media? Only in Otiko’s world.
The Minister again got many Ghanaians fuming over when she urged young girls not to “attract” rape by wearing provocative clothing.
She was speaking as the Co-Chairperson at the 90th anniversary and Speech and Prize Giving Day for Krobo Girls Presbyterian Senior School.
She said: “In conclusion, I want to say to you, be bold, be confident, be respectful. If you wear a short dress, it’s fashionable but, know that it can attract somebody who would want to rape or defile you. You must be responsible for the choices you make.”
When some men assaulted an alleged female thief in Kumasi, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection said her ministry was not in a hurry to condemn the act.
She explained that even though they had seen the video they were waiting for better details before they comment. This, in my opinion, should not be coming from a minister leading such a ministry.
Just when we thought we were done hearing of ‘Otiko Scandals’, the Otiko-Bugri Naabu saga begins.
Otiko Djaba had an altercation with Bugri Naabu on Friday (May 5, 2017) in Tamale after she went to meet women organisers of the party in the Northern Region.
She alleged that Bugri Naabu had collected monies, goats, cows and other things from people and promised them jobs with the School Feeding programme.
Subsequently, both of them have been responding to each other in the media.
This could have been solved amicably without making it to the media space. This is not the way to handle a Ministry as delicate as the one she leads now.
International donor agencies are watching her, they would be influenced to continue partnering the Ministry depending on how the minister portrays her sector.
Since the formation of the ministry in the erstwhile John Kufuor government, all presidents have appointed Ministers who will take the Ministry to the next level.
Beginning with Gladys Asmah through to the immediate past Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection; Nana Oye Lithur, there was a progressive development at the Ministry.
In three months Otiko has been involved in about five scandals. I wonder how many she will get herself in by end of 2017 if President Nana Akufo-Addo does not replace her immediately.
She is yet to switch from campaign to governance mood. She has taken too long but I also remember the President saying “I am in hurry”.
President Nana Addo, if you really are in a haste, sack Otiko Afisa Djaba. She is not helping your course. Some people are good for campaigning not good for governance.