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Opinions of Monday, 10 February 2014

Columnist: Damptey, Daniel Danquah

Otiko Afisah Djaba – The Face of Hope for Election 2016.

The Fact that a man is in the middle of an ocean does not mean he should call a crocodile father. If a deity is kind it does not mean it can be appeased with ordinary water. Three powerful women are engaged in a bitter struggle for the control of the soul and body of the women’s wing of the New Patriotic Party. Whoever wins the position will be better placed to give impetus to the new sense of direction that is already making waves in the party.
The New Patriotic Party is engaged in a bitter struggle with the Nefarious Destructive Cancer over who controls the entity called Ghana. It involves the use of addled brain power over brute physical force. Destiny is on the side of the New Patriotic Party, but we must prepare ourselves in a better way to advance by having a vibrant women’s wing second to none.
Fortunately the party has not been lacking in that aspect. The success story in that respect cannot be told without mentioning the name Otiko Afisan Djaba. Yes, the name reverberates across the country as if the Ghana Black Stars had scored a goal in a World Cup Qualifier. Yes, Otiko Afisah Djaba is loved by friends and foes alike. Her affable smile is enough to defuse any tension and keep one in a relaxed mood. An admirer has this to say about her. “Otiko Djaba can’t hurt a fly. She radiates life. You cannot but love her.” This is a testimony of the sterling qualities of this kind-hearted and affable woman who is always bubbling with energy and life.
Otiko Afisah Djaba is carved in the mould of Mary Cruz, the lead character in the Mexican Soap Opera, Corazon Indomable. She is kind, loving and lovable. In fact she is kind to a fault. Anyone who comes in contact with her for the first time will marvel at her level of intelligence, her oratorical and negotiation skills. At her age, one finds it extremely difficult to understand where she gets her strength and inspiration from. She tells me her interaction with Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has taught her a lot of positive things. She eats, sleeps and swims in the New Patriotic Party. In short, Otiko Afisan Djaba is the very embodiment of the New Patriotic Party, for everything she does hinges on this fact.
To those who do not know this iron but flexible lady, let me state here that she is the out-going Women’s Organizer of the New Patriotic Party who is seeking re-election. There is a saying that if a child washes his/her hands well, he/she eats with kings. Otiko Afisah Djaba has gone to greater lengths to bring a lot of dynamism into the position of Women’s Organizer and therefore deserves to be returned to office. A workaholic, she has left no stone unturned to ensure that the position of women’s organizer does not become one of drudgery but one that is quite interesting and attractive.
With her resilient nature and hard work, she has brought about a lot of dynamism into her office. It is a position that is neither for the stingy nor the lazy type. It is a position which is for someone who is ready to learn to become part of a winning team. She flows with her female counterparts both within and outside her party. She has not only introduced new ideas into the political terrain with her kind words of wisdom and encouragement but has used her charming and affable personality to diffuse tension which could have caused the disintegration of any less resilient political party.
Otiko Afisah Djaba joined the immediate Flag-bearer of the party and his campaign team to travel to every nook and cranny of the country to sell the party’s message of Hope. It might interest you to know that the success of every politician depends on his/her ability to strategize. And Otiko Djaba has this quality in abundance and has been very well acquainted with the vicissitudes of political life. She had her baptism of fire when she contested the Bole-Bamboi Parliamentary seat in December, 2008 – a seat that had just been vacated by the then Vice Presidential Candidate of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama. Though she lost the seat to the NDC member, she was able to garner over five thousand votes – a feat unprecedented in the history of the NPP in that Constituency.
Otiko Afisah Djaba knows her sauce as to when and how to apply it. She does her homework with a fine toothcomb as if her entire life depends on it. Her ability to make operational forecasts has made her the one to fear by her political opponents. It appears she has already-made solutions to any obstacle that comes her way. How she is able to foresee the machinations of her political opponents and take relevant steps to nip them in the mud is a subject that has continued to bug the minds of both friends and enemies alike.
One would question her credentials for seeking re-election as. A tried and tested politician, one of the first things she did when she assumed the position was to galvanize the women folk into a strong organization by training and equipping them financially and physically. Her bold venture into difficult and dangerous terrain has given impetus to the women wing to harvest votes for the party.
She was instrumental in the introduction of membership cards for NPP women all over the country. The members have been paying dues which are used to assist women in the party in various ways. Well done, Otiko Djaba. “Ampa, se Onipa ye adee, ose ayeyi.” It is an acknowledged fact that if someone does well, he/she deserves commendation. And this is exactly why we are asking the Electoral College not to forget Otiko Afisah Djaba when it comes to the election of the Woman’s Organizer.
Otiko Afisah Djaba spearheaded the crusade to reserve a certain number of the party’s safe seats for our aspiring female parliamentarians. But that laudable idea fizzled out because their male counterparts were not in any mood to shift positions on the issue. However, that initiative has yielded positive results. The filing fee of females who contested the party’s parliamentary primaries was reduced to GHC8000.00 instead of GHC16, 000.00 paid by their male counterparts. Even here, The Face of Hope in Election 2016 used part of the monies raised through monthly dues and donations to supplement the amount raised by the female aspirants in their electioneering campaign.
She initiated an affirmative Action Program, one of which entails meeting the Kayayeis at each of the Abgobbloshie, Mallam Atta and Nima Markets thrice a year. This was an agenda she discharged religiously. In addition, she raised funds to convey some Kayayeis to their respective towns and villages in the Three Northern Regions during the Registration and Voting exercises. Through her ingenuity and mobilizing drive, the party now has a data base of Kayayeis in most of the markets in Accra.
She was the arrowhead of the NPP Women Prayer Tower and provided logistics for such prayer meetings which were held once a week. In addition, she led the women to pray for the party during the period of Election Petition at the Supreme Court from 2nd March to 29th August, 2013.
Otiko Afisah Djaba has always identified herself with her people. Anytime she appears to defend the party on radio and television, she wears her ceremonial Gonja apparel, thus making her one of the few people from the three Northern Regions who advertises her “Northernness”. It will interest you to know that at the peak of the electioneering campaign, this lady with four children left her home as early as 4a.m. for the various TV and radio stations almost on daily basis to go and articulate her views and that of the NPP on many issues as they affect the country and the party. TV and Radio stations she went to included GTV, TV Africa, Metro TV, ETV, Net 2, Oman FM, Adom FM, Peace FM and many others.
Otiko Djaba has also instituted quarterly meetings of all the Regional Women Organizers of the party. She foots the bill for such meetings - accommodation, feeding, transportation (to and fro) and pocket allowance for each participant.
She has empowered women by sponsoring their training in income generating activities including bread making, soap making, hair dressing and batik making.
From what I have written about our energetic and charismatic aspiring women’s organizer, I believe you all will agree with me that indeed, Otiko Afisah Djaba is the Face of Hope. She has sacrificed her time and resources for the New Patriotic Party and it is time the party said a big “Thank You” to her by voting her back as the National Women’s Organizer. One should not forget the health walk she organized for party faifthfuls at Okaishie.
But attempts are being made the tarnish the hard earned reputation of this great woman of history. The negative campaign making the rounds has it that Otiko Afisah Djaba is an NDC mole planted in the party. I laughed myself to sleep when I first heard of it. These agents of destabilization claim that she and President Mahama are cousins and so she cannot be a genuine party person. How petty could people be!
Otiko herself has not denied the fact that she and the President are blood relations. If we were to go by this illogical and incomprehensible thinking, then it would mean late Peter Ala Adjetey, Osafo Marfo, Dr Bawumia, George Abu Jinapor, Samuel Okudzeto, J.H.Mensah and even our immediate Flag bearer could be said to be moles in the party. The late Peter Adjetey’s son is a top member of the Nefarious Destructive Cancer. Dr. Mohamadu Bawumiah’s father was a top member of Dr. Nkrumah’s cabinet. J.H.Mensah started his political career in Nkrumah’s CPP Government before he switched over to the UP. Osafo Marfo’s brother, Dr Adjei Marfo was a member of Rawlings Cabinet. George Abu Jinapor former Aide to the NPP’s immediate flag bearer is a direct brother to John Abu Jinapor who is a Deputy Minister in Mahama’s government.
What about Messrs J.H. Owusu Acheampong and Kwaku Baah Former MP for Nkawkaw. Both were MPs on the tickets of the PFP. They were sacked for engaging in anti party activities. When the country was ushered into the 4th Republic, both Kwaku Baah and Owusu Acheampong pitched tent with the NDC. Owusu Acheampong became the Majority Leader of the First Parliament of the 4th Republic. Kwaku Baah resigned his membership of the party after their Congress in Koforidua.
If we were to go by the illogical confusion of such agents of destabilization, then Samuel Okudzeto could not be said to be a member of the NPP. He was a top member of the National Alliance of Liberals (NAL) when Busia was Prime Minister. He refused to withdraw a remark he made in Parliament which the Speaker deemed inappropriate and unparliamentary. When he was ordered to withdraw he said “Mr. Speaker, I will not withdraw” whereupon the Speaker ordered the Sergeant at arms to walk him out. Sam Okudzeto “fled” the house before the officer could get to him. Even our immediate Flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo as a student, was a socialist who detested capitalism with a very strong passion. But when he too saw the light, he too moved over to the party of freedom and opportunities.
From the analysis above, one could see that being a blood relation of President Mahama in no way makes Otiko Afisah Djaba an NDC mole in the NPP. It is pertinent at this juncture to state that her charming and amiable personality, coupled with her kind words of wisdom, encouragement and persuasion, was the catalyst that made her achieve so much in just a very short period of time.
A polyglot, Otiko Afisah Djaba, the NPP Face of Hope is endowed with the natural ability to communicate and write in 8 Languages including English. The others are Gonja, Dagomba, Walla, Hausa, Twi, Ga and Krobo. This makes her affable and helps in building relationship and communication. Who can match her credentials in this aspect?
Otiko Afisah’s dream of identifying and nurturing young females culminated into forming the Girls-Girls Leadership Club with the single purpose of identifying young females to be relevant in the succession process of the New Patriotic Party. It is open to females between the ages of 18 and 40.
Tell Magazine (Nigeria) of March 11, 2002 has to say of the entity called Nigeria. “Because we are not planning for the future, everything including temporary failure takes us by surprise”.
It will therefore be a great disappointment if the New Patriotic Party will go to Election 2016 without Otiko Afisah Djaba.
She is indeed the Face of Hope in Election 2016.

Daniel Danquah Damptey (0243715297)