The Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency in the Volta Region, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has insinuated that the rejection of appointment from President Akufo-Addo by the immediate past Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba, is an indications that, all is not well with the ruling government.
The Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament is therefore warning the government not to dent the cordial relationship Ghana had had with countries such as Italy with his appointments.
Madam Afisa Djaba in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra on Monday 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.
Madam Djaba was appointed Ghana’s Ambassador to Italy just a fortnight ago but said she had declined the offer and communicated same officially to President Akufo-Addo.
After her appointment as Ambassador to Italy, Madam Djaba was tasked to hand over to Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, who would act until the new Minister-designate, Mrs. Cynthia Morrison is vetted by Parliament.
But Madam Djaba reportedly told the media that “at 56 years, l want to relax and enjoy my family and life and, therefore, l am not ready to take up the appointment as Ambassador to Italy”.
Reacting to the issue on his facebook post on Tuesday, Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa said “while wishing her well in her future endeavours, it does appear that contrary to what they would want us believe, all is not well within the Akufo-Addo government”.
He said “this fact is further buttressed by the recent astonishing claims from the Health Minister that some ‘enemies’ within want him sacked”.
“As pundits will most likely conclude; these internal rifts will potentially have far reaching governance consequences for our country”, he added.
Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa added that “while acknowledging that the former Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister deserves some privacy at this juncture, a critical concern ought to be Ghana’s relations with Italy”.
“I do hope this avoidable quagmire will be delicately managed if not late in the day so as not to convey an impression albeit negatively that we are toying with our long standing strategic relations with the Italians”, the MP added.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP said “no receiving country is flattered to discover that an envoy so appointed is unwilling - to say the least, and that the appointing authority apparently did little or no homework before announcing such an appointment to the world”.
Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa called on the President to rather appoint carrer diplomats to foreign missions instead of party faithful.
“And if I may, perhaps it is time for President Akufo-Addo to seize this opportunity and appoint a career diplomat instead since the current ratio precariously discriminates against career diplomats in favour of political appointees”.
He added that “this fly in the face of the government’s own 60:40 pledge. It is no longer a secret that this issue is threatening morale amongst our illustrious Foreign Service staff and already causing much grumbling”.