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Third batch of ministers-designate passed, Otiko still hanging

The third batch of Ministers-designate who were vetted by Parliaments Appointment Committee have been approved by Parliament, Monday. 

They included Minister-designate for Communications Ursula Owusu Ekuful; Minister-designate for Sanitation and Water Resources, Joseph Kofi Ada and Minister-designate for Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako Atta.

Others are Minister-designate for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Minister-designate for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Kwabena Frimpong Boateng and Minister-designate for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey.

However, the approval of Minister-designate for Gender and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba is still hanging in the balance.

According to Joy News' parliamentary correspondent, Joseph Opoku Gakpo, she is likely to be approved by a majority decision although the House is yet to vote on her approval. 

Last Friday when the issue came up, the Minority washed their hands off the approval of the Madam Djaba after minutes of a feisty debate on the floor.

The minority side walked out of the floor of chamber leaving only its ten members of the Appointments Committee on the floor as a way to register their protest with the approval of the nominee.

Madam Otiko Djaba had a not too smooth vetting process after she was quizzed about critical comments she made about the ex-president John Mahama.

On many of the campaign platforms, the NPP Women's Organiser minced no words in calling Mr Mahama a "wicked" and "evil person" who did not have the people of the North at heart.

When she was asked by the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrissu whether she has regretted making those comments, Madam Djaba stood by them.

She said her comments were critical descriptions of the ex-president and not insults and she will not withdraw them or apologise for making same.

She later confessed to having skipped her national service shortly after completing her tertiary institution. By law, it is mandatory for all persons to do their national service before occupying public offices.

Madam Djaba needs about 60 percent of Majority members present in parliament for the discussion about her approval to be called and voted for.  

On Friday when the matter was raised on the floor, the Majority did not have the numbers to carry through with her approval. This was after the Minority walked out.

When the matter was called again today, the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, in an entrenched position said they will not be party to a decision that violates the law and if Otiko Djaba has not done her national service, they will not approve her.

The Majority Leader rebutted the claim, saying the debate about whether or not to have the nominee approved has been done already and there was the need to put the issue to a vote.

The House is currently voting to take a decision on the matter.