Being the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection is a tough one. And that is exactly what sector minister Otiko Afisa Djaba has found out.
Prior to becoming a minister, Madam Djaba used to be one of the firebrands of the then opposition New Patriotic Party.
Now in power, and appointed as Gender Minister, Otiko Djaba appears to have relaxed on her public utterances a bit.
However, that said, she has previously been involved in certain talks that could at best qualify as reckless.
Below are five times that Otiko Djaba was reckless:
1. Otiko vs Naabu
Last year, Otiko Djaba was involved in a bitter feud with the Northern Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Daniel Bugri Naabu.
The relationship between the pair reached breaking point, with both using unsavoury words on each other.
At one point, Madam Djaba accused Bugri Naabu of collecting cows, goats and sheep from people with the promise of offering them positions on the School Feeding Programme.
She, however, later apologized to the nation for her conduct in the whole episode.
2. Otiko’s comment on rape to Krobo Girls students
Again in 2017 whiles addressing students of Krobo Girls Senior High School, the Gender Minister urged them not to “attract” rape by wearing provocative clothing.
Her statement suggested that girls who wear short skirts and other provocative clothes are attracting rapists to themselves.
Madam Djaba said: “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.”
She was subsequently bashed by a section of Ghanaians who believed she did not speak well.
3. Release on Moesha's case
Another controversy that engulfed the Gender Minister was the release from the Gender Ministry condemning actress Moesha Boduong for her comments on CNN.
Moesha became an object of public scrutiny when she suggested on CNN that Ghanaian ladies have to depend on married men to survive due to the harsh economic conditions in the country.
The Gender Minister took up the matter and released a strong-worded statement condemning the actress for generalizing when she should have referred to her personal situation.
However, the Gender Minister was also attacked by some feminists who deemed the statement needless.
4. Support for Ken Agyepong calling Charlotte Osei a whore
Prior to the 2016 elections, MP for Assin Central Kennedy Agyapong alleged that EC boss Charlotte Osei has exchanged sexual favours to be appointed to the role.
The lawmaker accused then President Mahama of sleeping with the EC boss before giving her the job.
Instead of condemning Mr. Agyapong who is also a member of the NPP, Madam Djaba did the opposite rather calling for an investigation into the sex allegations.
She said: “A Member of Parliament has alleged that the EC boss had sex with someone before she was offered a job, instead of us finding out the truth in the matter, the NDC is organizing women groups to demonstrate against the MP? Why are we not investigating whether the President have something doing with the EC boss or not?”
In the aftermath of her comment she was widely condemned for making such distasteful utterances.
5. Comments urging people to stop giving money to street children
Earlier this year Madam Otio Djaba was once again at the centre of controversy after she appealed to Ghanaians to stop giving money to beggars on the street.
According to her, it is a bad practice which would only encourage the beggars to continue staying on the streets.
“It is demand and supply, as some of the people contract some of the children to be pushing them and preventing them from being in school.
“Some of them own kiosks, have houses and taxis working for them and have taken it as a profession and it cannot be a profession,” she said.
Again, her comments did not sit well with many people who condemned her.
Otiko Afisah Djaba is 54 years old. She studied Information Systems in the UK, communications in Eygpt and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Integrated Development Studies at the University for Development Studies in Ghana.
She was the National Facilitator for the Campaign for Greater Discipline under Former Vice President Aliu Mahama in 2004. She worked as a Consultant in Children’s Rights and rural women’s development for Plan Ghana in extremely deprived rural communities in Sissala districts and in Wa.
In 2008 she was the NPP Parliamentary Candidate for the Bole-Bamboi constituency, and is currently the Women’s leader of the New Patriotic Party and has held the position since 2010. She is a polyglot, who speaks 8 Ghanaian dialects.
She has 4 children.
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