Mr. Johnson Avuletey, Deputy Minister-designate for Volta Region, on Wednesday, retracted an earlier claim that the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) was a taboo in the Volta Region.
He said it was a slip of tongue, and apologised.
“NPP, the party belong to, is a taboo in the Volta Region? It is a slip of tongue; I’m sorry,” he told the Appointments Committee of Parliament, in Accra, before which he appeared for vetting.
His retraction followed a question from Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, a Member of the Appointments Committee and MP for the Asawase Constituency in the Ashanti Region, if he stood by an earlier statement during the vetting that the NPP was a taboo in the Volta Region.
Alhaji Muntaka pointed out that Mr Michael Yaw Jato, MP for Krachi East, from the Volta Region, is in Parliament on the ticket of the NPP.
Following retraction and the apology, Alhaji Muntaka explained that the NPP’s presence is recognised in the Volta Region, and got about 100,000 votes in the last elections.
Equally, he represents the people of the Asawase Constituency in the Ashanti Region, where the NPP is more popular than the NDC, but to him, the Ashanti Region is a stronghold of the NDC, and for that he had being asking his party to work to improve its electoral gains in the Ashanti Region.
Alhaji Muntaka urged politicians to be conscious of making statements that unite the people rather than dividing them.
The nominee identified some resources available in the region as salt, timber and the Volta Lake, and said he would consult his Minister, and bring other stakeholders on board, to see how best to increase the production of salt, and tap more into the other resources.
When the nominee was asked why after studying masonry, he left that vocation, his answer sent both committee members and observers reeling with laughter, which made Alhaji Muntaka asked him not to speak ill of the vocation, since a number of artisans and tradesmen from the Volta Region were noted for doing quality work.
Mr Avuletey said he had to leave because masonry createed problems for the waist at older age.
“I did not leave masonry. If you are doing masonry, it will reach a time that you can’t do it. It requires hard work, and if your strength is not going to support you, you have to leave.
“I saw the ending of many masons and I decided to leave; if you are not clever, you will have waist problems,” Mr Avuletey said, which sent the vetting hall reeling with laughter.
Alhaji Muntaka however disagreed with Mr Avuletey on the claim, and said his explanation would make many runway from the job.
Furthermore, artisan jobs are rather shifting to compatriots in Togo and Benin, Alhaji Muntaka observed, adding, “I’ll be happy if he gives up this waist problem.”