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General News of Friday, 3 November 2017


Ayisi-Boateng saga: Minority wants Shirley Ayorkor Botchway summoned

Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration

Minority Members in Parliament are pushing for Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, to be hauled before Parliament over the unsavoury comments by the country's High Commissioner to South Africa, George Ayisi-Boateng.

Mr Ayisi-Boateng's infamous comments that New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters are more Ghanaian than others, has drawn sharp criticism from several well-meaning Ghanaians with the Minority in Parliament leading the charge.

Despite a public apology and retraction of the statement, legislators appear unsatisfied and are calling for his head.

Contributing to business statement in Parliament on Friday, November 3, Wa Central MP, Rashid Pelpuo, inquired whether the Minister will be making a statement on the floor in that regard, to which second Deputy Majority whip, Moses Anim, said consultations were still ongoing to get the Minister on the floor of the House.

Meanwhile, Ms Botchway has said that the apology by the High Commissioner “should put the matter to rest”.

Mr Ayisi-Boateng, in an interaction with the student wing of the NPP at the Kumasi Technical University over the weekend, had said NPP members were his “topmost priority” because they are “more Ghanaian than other Ghanaians”.

After several calls for his resignation, Mr Ayisi-Boateng, who had defended his statement, rendered an apology and retracted his comment in a statement on Wednesday, 1 November 2017.

Reacting to the apology on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Thursday, 2 November, Mrs Ayorkor Botchway said the apology should end the matter.

“The important thing is that he has apologised. In his statement, he said he did sit back and soberly reflected on his statement and decided that he has to apologise, so, I think that puts the matter to rest and the important thing is that this does not happen again so far as he is concerned or any other envoy is concerned,” she told show host Moro Awudu.

Mr Ayisi-Boateng’s apology read: “I have, upon sober reflection, decided to retract the comments I made during my interaction with some Members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti Region over the weekend.

“I have realised that my statement is unfortunate and at variance with the letter and spirit of the Ghanaian constitution and the dignified office of High Commissioner that I occupy.

“I am aware that as the representative of Ghana to South Africa, I have a responsibility to protect the interest of all Ghanaians within my jurisdiction and to grant them equal access to opportunities that are presented, irrespective of their political affiliation.

“I regret the effect of my speech delivered to the young party members which has generated public outcry.

“I, therefore, wish to retract my comments and render an unqualified apology to the Presidency and all Ghanaians.”

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