The Africa Centre for Women In Politics (ACWP) has condemned the criticisms hurled against the Member of Parliament for the Dome-Kwabenya constituency, Sarah Adwoa Safo.
According to ACWP, they believe the attacks against Adwoa Safo, who is part of the few women in Parliament, is to discredit her before the general public.
“We have observed with deep concern the recent vitriolic attacks on Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo, Member of Parliament for Dome Kwabenya Constituency and Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection.
We view this development as a well-calculated attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. It is nothing but a well-calculated attempt by the two male MPs and the male editor/pollster to make Hon. Adwoa Safo look bad in the eyes of the public, her constituents and especially members of the NPP.”
The Gender Minister, Sarah Adwoa Safo, has come under heavy criticism over her continuous absence in Parliament. Earlier, there had been reports that she was using her seat as a bargaining chip to frustrate government business.
New Juaben South MP, Michael Okyere Baafi, attested to this by stating that “all the problems government is facing are attributable to Adwoa Safo. Clearly, her intention and posture show that she wants to sabotage NPP”.
He expressed his disappointment during an interview on Kumasi-based Hello FM.
“She said she will not come to Parliament if she is not given the Deputy Majority Leader position. All 136 NPP MPs are always in Parliament except Adwoa Safo. One person cannot hold the party to ransom”, he added.
Following this, Managing News Editor of the Daily Dispatch Newspaper, Ben Ephson has called on the leadership of the ruling New Patriotic Party to take a conclusive decision on Mrs Adwoa Safo.
Speaking in an interview with Evans Mensah on Top Story, Mr. Ephson said the legislator’s posture should not be condoned and therefore called for her replacement if her conduct persists.
“Clearly if the records there at Parliament show that she has absented herself without permission or health reasons, I think somebody should trigger that and the party should sack her for a by-election to be held. It’s going to be very difficult for her to win as an independent candidate, unlike the situation in the Ashanti region. She won the NPP primaries by eight; single eight votes. Not eighty, eight votes.
That is a relatively safe seat for the NPP. So she can decide that she dares the party. If there’s proof of days without excuse of health reasons, they should ask her. And she can decide to go independent and be a second independent candidate.
There’s no way she’s going to win that seat as an independent candidate. That’s a relatively safe NPP seat, and she won the party’s primaries by eight votes, against Mike Oquaye Jnr”, Ben Ephson stated.
But the Africa Centre for Women In Politics has described the comments made as “unjustified, unwarranted, mischievous and most unfortunate.”
“We are aware that the many male MPs absent themselves from Parliament for similar periods without such calls for them to be sacked.
Ladies and gentlemen, there are many Members of Parliament and appointees of the Akufo-Addo government whose actions and inactions have brought the name of the government into disrepute but nothing has happened to them. They remain at post,” the group added.
In a document sighted by MyJoyOnline.com, Executive Director, Alimatu Issahaka, further explained that absence from Parliament is permitted subject to the leave of absence from the Speaker of Parliament and “the complaining MPs in question are fully aware that Hon. Adwoa Safo has been receiving medical attention for the past few months which also accounted for her leave from ministerial duties.”
According to the Centre, Adwoa Safo should be receiving the needed support from her colleagues in Parliament and the NPP as she goes through life as a nursing mother.
ACWP believes that Adwoa Safo is being persecuted because she is a woman and has been able to achieve great things such as becoming the first female deputy Majority Leader.
“Hon. Adwoa Safo is an accomplished politician and lawyer and a worthy role model to many young women. She remains one of the few hardworking female Members of Parliament today,” they touted.
In view of this, the Africa Centre for Women In Politics has called on all Ghanaians especially queen mothers, women groups, gender advocates, and market women to throw their support behind the Gender Minister
“This is the time to show solidarity to a fellow woman who deserves our support. We cannot leave her to fight this battle alone. A threat to a fellow woman in politics is a threat to all women. So let your voices be heard in support of one of our own. Let’s stand up and be counted.”
“We are appealing to President Akufo-Addo and the leadership of the NPP to call Adwoa Safo’s attackers to order and rather offer her the necessary support in these difficult times of her life.”
Should the criticisms continue, ACWP has threatened to embark on a series of actions “against her attackers until they desist from such shameful acts.”
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