Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, has been caught flat-footed in a dumb goof over President Akufo-Addo’s ECOWAS Chairmanship fiasco that had left her looking clueless in sub-regional diplomatic craft.
However, as the comedy around Ayorkor Botchway’s claim that President Faure Gnassingbe had not been elected Chairman over Akufo-Addo unfolds, the comic relief is twisting into something else – a drunken tale.
Apparently, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration had been tipsy on themidnight that she clambered on to her Facebook timeline to write that President Akufo-Addo had proposed Togo’s Faure Gnassingbe for the Chairmanship.
The Republic has picked up from diplomatic circles that the minister might have been tipsy when she blundered through the roof with the claim, as it turns out that both President Akufo-Addo and Faure Gnassingbe had been proposed by their peer Presidents.
It is public knowledge now that Ghana’s President had been proposed for the ECOWAS Chairmanship by Cote d’Ivoire’s Alassane Ouattara, while Togo’s President had been proposed by his peer from Guinea.
It is not clear if the Foreign Affairs Minister is a drunk but the 51st Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments held in Liberia is said to have been, as is customary, refreshed with a lot of fine liqueur that the minister is believed to have helped herself to.
A source from a diplomatic mission in Accra has told The Republic that there had been fine imported liquor on the refreshment menu of the program in Liberia, as well.
It is alleged that by the time Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister went onto Facebook to start a damage control over the wholesale rejection of Akufo-Addo for Faure Gnassingbe in the ECOWAS Chairmanship race, Madam Ayorkor Botchway was probably tipsy, even as she was sleepy.
She had left people in the diplomatic community in shock when she claimed in the Facebook post that President Akufo-Addo was the one who had proposed Togo’s Faure Gnassingbe for the Chairmanship of ECOWAS. The claim was an alternative fact that was miles away from the truth that President Akufo-Addo had been proposed by President Ouattara, while Faure Gnassingbe had been proposed by Guinean President Alpha Conde.
The Facebook post itself had been made close to midnight, invoking suggestions that the Foreign Affairs Minister might have also been sleepy when she posted the untruth.
“It’s almost midnight and we just got back from ECOWAS Summit in Monrovia. Just to set the records straight. I don’t know who put this out about an ECOWAS vote today at the summit.
“At the level of the Heads of State, they mostly don’t vote on issues; as much as possible, they go by consensus. There was no vote today. It had already been agreed as per ECOWAS rules of rotation that the chair of authority will be a francophone country and this time Togo.”
She adds that, “…guess what? It was President Akufo-Addo who proposed President Faure and all the others (peers) clapped unanimously in agreement. Shame on those who started spreading this falsehood! I’m off to bed.”
How a minister, who is supposed to be the face of Ghana’s diplomacy, could use such insulting language openly on social media has left observers wondering if Ayorkor Botchway was really level headed at the time of the post. It is emerging that she probably was under the influence of alcohol.
The development has since made Ms Ayorkor Botchway a laughing stock with many pouring scorn on her for suggesting that ECOWAS does not elect its Chairmen even though it is open fact that President Mahama had been unanimously elected in 2014.
Former President Kufuor had been reelected in 2004 after an earlier election in 2003 and yet Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs could give herself the benefit of the doubt to claim that the Chairmanship of ECOWAS rotates between French and African countries.
The acceptance of Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe over President Akufo-Addo was a total humiliation, as Faure is said to have swept all endorsements from Presidents in attendance at the 51st Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments.
The development, which has made Akufo-Addo the only Ghanaian President who has been so rejected over the ECOWAS Chairmanship happened in spite of the fact that Akufo-Addo is seen to have lobbied for the position.
Believed to have guised the lobby as a West African tour, the Ghana President had visited a number of West African countries ahead of the 51st Ordinary session of the ECOWAS in Liberia.
President Akufo-Addo had used his tour to make many lofty promises, including linking Ouagadougou and Accra by rail and making the study of French compulsory in Ghana, but it all did not get him the ECOWAS Chairmanship position.
The development was a public relations nightmare to government that forced a sleepy and probably tipsy Foreign Affairs Minister to clamber on to her Facebook timeline at a midnighthour to start a damage control.
Unfortunately for Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the whole attempt has nosedived and left her with eggs on the face.
Many people sympathize with her that she had had to go on Facebook at a time that most people were sleeping to clean the President’s mess but people feel it was unpardonable that a whole Foreign Affairs Minister did not seem to be on top of the facts.
Now it has emerged that she might have been tipsy when she was writing on Facebook at that midnight hour.
According to the source, she may have helped herself to liqueur that was available as refreshment for the 51st Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Heads of States and Governments and led herself south.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com / Fiifi Samuels