It is certain whether some persons are trying to sabotage the Deputy Communication Minister, Victoria Hammah; but she recently faced a near-embarrassing situation when a speech she was to read at an official function was secretly replaced with the wrong one.
Addressing journalists and stakeholders in the campaign to combat cyber crime in Ghana, Ms. Hammah, after reading barely three lines of the speech, realized she was fumbling and sounding incoherent.
She then paused and with a surprise look on her face, asked while still speaking into the microphone: “Where is the speech I edited. No, I can’t read this…. This morning, I edited this speech and this is different. And so I am trying to speak from my mind. So maybe I would do that. Ah!”
The pretty-faced deputy minister then explained to the audience that she personally went through her speech ensured her ‘t’s had been well crossed and her ‘i’s well doted; therefore it was surprising that she could not find that speech, but rather another one written as though it was a puzzle.
Both officials and journalist present were shocked at the explanation, but Ms. Hammah eventually succeeded in rendering a flawless extempore speech that explained government’s quest to fight cyber crime in Ghana.
Opinions were however divided on whether the deputy minster handled the situation well enough by openly letting everyone know her speech had been changed.
While some opined she could have simply gone extempore without explaining something unusual had happened, others were of the view Ms. Hammah did the right thing by giving an explanation on why she could not read a speech at such an official function where she had been invited in her official position as a deputy minister.
Ms. Hammah also recently became the subject of news when she took to her facebook wall to explain her views on why politicians and government appointees were prone to corruption:
“Corrupt politicians are the reflection of corrupt society! The public make unrealistic demands of money for funerals, support for Mphil programme, monies for air fare ticket, hospital bills capital for businesses, money for rent and even demand to induce justice process etc. Yet the worst was yet to happen, people even ask of me to use official letter heads to influence processes for them. Since my appointment as a deputy minister for Communications, the aforementioned is but a few of the obnoxious demands made of me by some Ghanaians.
The question is where do the public expect me to get the money from and on some occasion I have posed the question to them-their answers seem obvious ‘steal and give us our share’. This I find very retrogressive indeed! Are we beginning as a people to accept the menace of corruption and abuse of office? Are we institutionalizing corruption? We must wake up to this unhealthy menace and address it comprehensively; in as much as we demand accountability from public office holders we as a people must demand accountability from our own conscience. When there is no meat eater; the butcher doesn’t have a job!”
Victoria Hammah is a devoted Hindu by religion and that may explain why she has a rather simple and straightforward attitude on issues.
Hindu teachings encourage a simple and down-to-earth approach to issues and Ms. Hamah may just be practicing what her religion teaches her.