Live from the Woods: Otiko Djaba, Catherine Afeku unfit to provide patriotism lectures

Live Ghana Tv Blog

Blog / Live Ghana Tv Blog 276 Views

Though President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo might have a lesson or two to teach about patriotism, same cannot be said about some of his appointees.

It’s fair to want to look up to somebody and model your actions in line with the person’s behaviour. This is the medium in which the youth learn about patriotism and why it's important citizens sacrifice for the country as did some of our predecessors.

However, it’s distasteful when that person you believe in has a set of behaviours that fits into the powerful yet toxic influences category. They are no good examples for our children when it comes to patriotism, loyalty, and honesty. It causes little wonder to note that the political discourse in the country has been about whether it’s worthwhile for anybody to sacrifice for Ghana.

It's unsettling to find some persons appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo exhibit behaviours that are antithetical to everything he believes. Seen as a good influence, the President has demonstrated in words and actions heigtened patriotism to the country by sticking to clean politics, defending human rights of Ghanaians; and honesty even to the chagrin of his party members. The charge to keep is that, he has promised to demand same from his appointees.

There's a deficit of role models in Ghana. Would you want to be one?

However, the sign on the wall in the formative stage of his government is discouraging and might harm his credibility as a person if remedial steps are not taken. The approval of Gender Minister-designate, Otiko Afisa Djaba by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) dominated Parliament might take the shine off the President. It’s a common knowledge that the NPP commands super majority in the House, however, its legislators must give chance to reason rather than party interest.

Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Ocquaye has promised to reverse everything that’s negative about the legislature. The irony, however, is that he was part of those who started it when he was a legislator. Could anything good come from "Dome Kwabenya?" He has itemised some high falutin reforms which when implemented would make MPs responsible to their constituents in the discharge of their duties. Though laudable ideas, if the Speaker is keen on implementing them, he has to prevail over the NPP MPs to reject the approval of Madam Djaba.

Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Ocquaye

It’s evident that she believes our society has to travel on the super highway of negativity when we have the luxury to choose the opposite. When she appeared before Parliament’s Appointments Committee, she rejected the invitation to climb the sanity bridge after she had savagely described former President John Mahama as a man with the devil’s heart and as a violent person. Without budging to questions raised by some former National Democratic Congress (NDC) ministers, she drew her sword of words vowing to stand by her pronouncement even if they hurt the reputation of the former Ghanaian leader. Before MPs who are supposed to know, the NPP Women Organiser said the former President acted as an emperor without clothes – an insult the MP let it pass.

Former President John Dramani Mahama

It’s important to acknowledge the works done by Madam Djaba to the political fortune of the NPP. Followers of Ghana’s politics will know the immense contribution the Gender Minister-designate made to the victory of the three-time lucky NPP Presidential Candidate and now President. As the head of the party’s women wing, she demonstrated her commitment by rallying the various regional women wing toward the victory of President Akufo-Addo.

She contributed to the humiliating defeat of the NDC and Mahama in the December 7, 2016, general elections. She had also provided entrepreneurial training to some of the women. All of these and more deserve some commendation and awards. We all need to celebrate results and that’s what President Akufo-Addo did, but not on the back of our society.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

We can’t sacrifice the future and values of our country on the altar of pettiness and blatant disregard for everything that’s sane in our society. It would be a defeatist approach to justify the behaviour of Madam Djaba by citing incidents in the former President Mahama-led government. The deal is that the former President and his cohorts were rejected at the December polls because of their “dead goat” syndrome. And by way of reminding the NPP functionaries, it’s important they desist from repeating the very insane actions of the previous government.

Gender Minister-designate, Otiko Afisa Djaba

One can’t act as a lunatic to spite a lunatic. What makes us strong is not what we say in defence of the wrong things. Rather, what makes us strong and reliable is our ability to ventilate our disappointment in our actions when we’re faced with the facts about our wrongdoings. Principles should not be bent or sacrificed, but you have to believe in the right ones. It's easy to fall for the wrong reasons especially when you're motivated by blind optimism.

Humility is the recognition of your nakedness despite the encouragement from others to dance some more in public. We all need to know when to apply the brake in our dealings with others.

Tourism Minister-designate, Catherine Afeku

Another telling issue is that Madam Djaba didn’t do her national service when she had the opportunity to do that. She isn’t the only nominee who refused to partake in the mandatory service to the state. The Tourism Minister-designate, Catherine Afeku is another and a gleeful one at that. She claimed she was outside Ghana and didn’t have the needed parental support to come home to enrol in the programme. The people we queued sacrificing our resources to vote for nodded in agreement to her explanation. This for me represents the highest form of unpatriotism to Ghana.

What patriotic lessons have these NPP ministers designate to teach us and our children when they refused to discharge that service required by the state?

Disturbingly, there are some lawyers who're chipping away their credibility in their bid to justify why these two women who showed disgust and contempt to the concept of the national service should be approved by Parliament. What these legal practitioners have failed to appreciate is that the approval of these women would alter the landscape of the Scheme forever. Graduates would come to believe that the programme has little relevance to whatever ambition they have for the future. The objectives of the Scheme might be thrown out with the water in some years to come.

You are what you hear so choose the right voice to listen to

Everything is within your reach when you’re in government, but the key thing is that governance is a continuous process which advocates for the right things to be done at all times. No one government wields the answers to Ghana's woes, many of which are self-inflicted. Government is like the guests who visit me occasionally. They come and go and none of them can claim ownership of the guest room that’s offered them to pass the night. NPP has the numbers and might be invincible today, but it has to know that it will not be in power forever.

As a people, we have to aim at doing things that are befitting and appropriate. This is because research works have proven that youth between the ages of 18 to 23 years learn a lot of toxic values from the adults. These values include unpatriotic attitudes, foul language, corruption, materialistic pursuits, cheating, disrespect, the ends justify the means attitude evident in the behaviour our politicians, dishonesty, backstabbing and manipulation.

It might not be easy for you to reject bad influences, but the buck stops with you. Call the shot.

It’s obvious that such culture of avarice and the absence of patriotism demonstrated by the two ministerial nominees is not only life-threatening but also could harm the future of a society. After 60 years of independence, our country has nothing to show except lack everywhere and some of these unpatriotic behaviours. President Akufo-Addo must reconsider his position on Gender Minister-designate, Otiko Afisa Djaba, and Tourism Minister-designate Catherine Afeku since their approval might have a social contagion effect on the youth.

Ghana needs role models. If you are one let your actions and speeches do the talking for you.


Disclaimer: Views expressed here are the Author's and do not reflect the position of management of the Multimedia Group Limited or The author Austin Brakopowers is a journalist with Joy 99.7 FM and could be reached via or