Editor and head of the political desk at JoyNews, Evans Mensah has described the role of Former Gender Minister, Otiko Afisa Djaba as one that cannot be underplayed if the New Patriotic Party indeed intends retaining power in the 2020 elections.
Read: Otiko rejects ambassadorial appointment, retires from politics
Mr. Mensah, touching on issues regarding the Ministerâ€™s rejection of an ambassadorial appointment by the President noted how the party in 2016, rode on the back of Otiko to win power. According to him, her role as women organizer at the time contributed a great deal to the victory the party earned in the elections for which reason she cannot be completely â€˜ignoredâ€™ by the party even if she decides to bow out of politics.
â€œThey will need Otiko Afisa Djaba going into the 2020 elections because of the contribution sheâ€™s put in that delivered them that victoryâ€¦.â€
â€œâ€œWe shouldnâ€™t underestimate the role she played in the lead up to the 2016 elections. The fact that the NPP won and won by a significant margin is in itself a good testimony to the role that sheâ€™d have played. No matter how small, the party won and you cannot discount the role sheâ€™d have played in organizing the female sect; women, for the partyâ€™s cause so clearly sheâ€™d have gained some invaluable experience in that role and whoever recently won that position at the recent NPP conference will need tutoring from her because of the role she played. If she says she is taking a back seat from active frontline politics does it mean for example that once she goes into the family mode, her advice is still absent? Possibly she can still advice.â€
Read: Otiko Djaba rejects ambassador job
He however opined that there might be more to Ms. Djabaâ€™s decision than reasons she gave in her interview with Graphic.
â€œWe shouldnâ€™t forget that Otiko Afisa Djaba held the seniormost position in the party when it came to organizing for them until her appointment as a substantive minister, that was a very important position and so for her to abandon politics altogether, something has happened beyond what sheâ€™s told us as the reason that obviously need further probingâ€, he stated.
â€œShe clearly wasnâ€™t happy with the fact that sheâ€™s removed from a substantial ministerial position to one that she has to answer to somebody and had to come up with a reason possibly to justify why she cannot accept that position. We are told that she told the President about her decision some time yesterday and if that is the case, then within that time and the time graphic gotten the story would have been a short period so she had probably planned and had been chewing on this since the reshuffle happened and had taken this decisionâ€.
â€œWhen reshuffles happen you are told about where you are going and if you didnâ€™t like it then, you have to give yourself time to consider, to think through it because you donâ€™t want to bend bridges on your way out. You still will have to do the right thing, give yourself time to think through it, find reasons that everyone will accept and these reasons are acceptable. If your ex-husband is challenged health wise and you want to spend time taking care of him, nobody can argue with that, if you go to President and tell him these are the reasons I want to quit, itâ€™s difficult for the President to argue with that, its familyâ€, he added.
Otiko Afisa Djaba, in an exclusive interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra Monday 20th, hinted that she would want to take a long break after 13 years of active politics so that she could enjoy life with her children. Ms Djaba was appointed Ghanaâ€™s Ambassador to Italy just a fortnight ago but said she had declined the offer and communicated same officially to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The former Minister has handed over to the Minister of Planning, Professor George Gyan-Baffour, who stood in for Hajia Alima Mahama, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development who is presently in Mecca.
Read: Otiko as diplomat is a big mistake â€“ Lawyer Amaliba
After her appointment as Ambassador to Italy, Ms Djaba was tasked to hand over to Hajia Mahama who would act until the new minister designate Mrs. Cynthia Morrison is vetted by Parliament.
â€œAt 56 years, I want to relax and enjoy my family and life and therefore, I am not ready to take up the appointment as Ambassador to Italyâ€, she said.
Explaining further why she declined the offer, Ms. Djaba said she was bowing out of politics to take care of her former husband who had stroke for the past six years.
â€œI am the one who has been taking care of him since he got sick and I cannot abandon him nowâ€, she said.