It has emerged that Otiko Afisa Djaba’s exemption from the mandatory national service, following her controversial approval as the Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister, is only temporary.
According to the acting Executive Director of the National Service Scheme, Ussif Mustapha, Madam Djaba’s brief exemption, is because there is currently no board in place for the NSS.Prior to Madam Djaba’s approval for her ministerial portfolio in Parliament on Tuesday, the Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, said the then nominee, following her vetting, secured an exemption from the National Service Scheme.
According to him, the waiver on her National Service made her eligible to be employed in any institution in the country, as required by the National Service Act 426.
Madam Djaba was 47 at the time she graduated from the University of Development Studies (UDS), also making her eligible for the waiver.
She was eventually sworn in as the Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister on Tuesday evening only by majority votes.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Ussif Mustapha said, “she has written to us, applied for an exemption and we have given her a temporal letter that will grant her the exemption whilst we are waiting for the board to be constituted properly.”
Despite no board being constituted for the NSS, the NSS Head stated that, the temporary waiver was granted in consultation with the President and the Education Ministry.
“When there is no board, the president and the minister, which the president has appointed, is the person we consult during this period and he was duly consulted,” Ussif Mustapha explained.
NDC MP threatens lawsuit
Despite the exemption, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for the Ashaiman Constituency, Ernest Norgbey, has hinted of legal action to challenge the approval of the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba.
According to him, the minister’s failure to undertake the mandatory one-year national service makes it illegal for her to occupy the ministerial position.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana