Member of Parliament for Lawra Constituency, Anthony Abayifa Karbo has defended Gender Minister Nominee, Otiko Afisa Djaba’s decision not to withdraw her comments made against the former President John Dramani Mahama ahead of the 2016 elections saying, she spoke the mind of right-thinking northerners.
Hon. Otiko Djaba minced no words in describing Mahama as “wicked, evil and someone with a heart of the devil” at a rally in Tamale and pointed out during her vetting at Parliament House in Accra, that she owes the former President no apology for her comments.
“…when I talked about him being an embarrassment, I spoke in relation to SADA. SADA is very dear to my heart. My mother is a Northerner, the incidence of poverty is highest in the three Northern Regions and for a President who comes from the Northern Region, who promised to alleviate poverty, what happened to the Guinea fowls? It was an embarrassment to me and to the North. The Chiefs of the North actually made that statement and so I don’t owe him or you any apology. We are developing and building a nation,” she noted.
Otiko Djaba’s defence of the description has led to her rejection by the minority who thinks her attitude and character will be an affront to the ministry she is to head.
But speaking to GhanaWeb, Hon. Karbo said Mahama indeed embarrassed Ghanaians living within the savannah areas of the three northern regions and should rather apologise.
“I am a northerner. I feel very embarrassed by what President Mahama did in terms of his legacy with SADA. You will be amazed how many northerners are applauding Madam Otiko for taking that stance. We have been very upset with the manner in which SADA has been managed and mismanaged by a northerner, a man whose father is a farmer. A man whose father has been part of the struggle to liberate northerners, [he] finally gets the opportunity to become president, promises his people that he will do a lot to better our lives and only to take GHC 260 million and there is nothing to show. That is a scar on the conscience of any right-thinking northerner… It was such an embarrassment,” he said.
Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) was a flagship programme of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government launched in 2008.
It promised to put GH¢200 million as seed money to develop the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Brong Ahafo Regions and some areas in the Volta Region.
However, an investigation by ace journalist, Manasseh Azure in 2014, revealed massive rot at the Authority which had become a vehicle for severe mismanagement.
Further investigations by the Auditor-General confirmed that government wasted GH¢48 million in a Guinea Fowl rearing and Tree Planting projects.
There were no Guinea fowls to show for the investment and there was no value for money for the tree planting project. Although SADA paid GH¢32 million for five million trees, only 700,000 were planted.