I AM FAIR AND FIRM, NOT ARROGANT – URSULA OWUSU
Communications Minister-designate, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful says she will prefer to describe her outlook as fair and firm rather than temperamental or arrogant as many have suggested in the past.
She said this when she appeared before parliament’s Appointments Committee for vetting.
A member of the committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa sought to question the nominee about her conduct and language to some colleagues in her capacity as minister.
He cited some three letters including one to Member of Parliament for Ajumako and ranking member on the Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, in which her language appeared temperamental, questioning how she intends to address the subject.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful in her response said she merely used idiomatic expressions, especially in the case of Mr Ato Forson when she mentioned that she would not go to the brothel for advice.
According to her, her words were taken out of context to suggest she may have been insulting or arrogant.
Rather she says, she is and will only remain fair and firm in the disposition of her duties.
“Mr. Chairman, that was an idiomatic expression that simply means, I know where to go for which particular information and I will not go to the inappropriate source to get it and so as my letter indicated, the honourable ranking member on the finance committee was seeking to tell me that I had no authority to do what I had to do and I told him in no uncertain terms that I disagreed with his assertion, and I will continue to do my work to the best of my ability.
“Maybe, it is the use of the word ‘brothel’ because I heard a lot of this in public commentary and I have responded to it, I am not operating any public brothel, I do not think that he operates on the level of brothels, and that’s not the meaning of the idiom.
“And so words have meanings, if we put the right meanings to them, we will not hop into the mistaken belief that maybe something untoward is being said but as I said, I am fair but I am firm in the work that I do,” she said.
Having said that, the Communications Minister-designate further noted that her stance of being firm where necessary may not change, though she may take the necessary steps to ensure more restrained language moving forward.
“If people find an exception to it, I cannot promise that I will act differently but we will be more measured in our responses moving forward……I cannot promise but I will try,” she added, to which Chair of the committee, Joseph Osei Owusu asked if that translated that she would use appropriate public service language moving forward.
Her response was this, “Mr Chairman, I believe that the official wording that is used to end such official communication is I extend to you the assurances of my highest esteem. We will endeavor to use public service language moving forward.”