Rumours that former President John Mahama jilted Ms Otiko Afisa Djaba, to whom he was allegedly meant to have settled down with per an arranged family marriage in accordance to Gonja custom, are not only “preposterous” but “ridiculous”, Mrs Joyce Bawa Mogtari, aide to the flag bearer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said.
“At the time Otiko relocated to Ghana, President Mahama was happily married”, Mrs Mogtari told Felicity Nelson on Class91.3FM’s Straight Talk on Thursday, 21 November 2019, adding: “I do know that in some quarters in the Northern Region, first cousins, if they don’t live together, can marry, but I think so far I am yet to see any of us in this generation who have one way or the other tried or attempted to date each other let alone marry”.
She made the remark while commenting on what, in her opinion, could have motivated Ms Otiko to consistently hurl attacks on her cousin Mr Mahama in the lead-up to the 2016 general elections.
The marriage rumour was sparked by one Haruna Mahama, who claimed in a social write-up that Ms Djaba was unrelenting in her verbal attacks on Mr Mahama because the former President “rejected” the arranged marriage because of his cousin’s “arrogance”.
Below is exactly what Mr Mahama Haruna wrote on Facebook:
Many are surprised about Otiko Afisa Djaba’s incessant attacks on President Mahama. I am not surprised because I know the reason for Otiko’s tantrums against President Mahama since she became an NPP member in 2008.
It is simple! President John Dramani rejected an arranged family marriage between him and Otiko Afisa Djaba many years ago.
President Mahama’s father (E.A. Mahama) and Otiko’s mother (Miss Siata) are brother and sister and were very close, especially since they were the few educated elite from Bole in the British colonial days with President Mahama’s father becoming the first MP for Bole in 1954 and subsequently becoming a Minister under Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s government. E.A. Mahama’s sister (Miss Siata) was an accomplished educationist well-known and popular at Bole. E.A. Mahama and Miss Siata adored each other so much that they built their houses near each other at Bole.
The fact is Otiko is a product of the friendship between President Mahama’s father (E.A. Mahama) and Otiko’s father (Henry Djaba). They were not only bosom friends but kingpins of Kwame Nkrumah’s CPP government. Henry Djaba decided to ‘con’ the sister of his friend E.A. Mahama with Otiko as the product of the relationship.
President Mahama and Otiko are cousins. By Gonja custom, cousins; that is a male child and female child of brother and sister, respectively, can marry and, so, former President Mahama could marry Otiko. In Gonja, most marriages are contracted this way.
Indeed, there was to be an arranged marriage between a very handsome, humble and “bookworm” President Mahama (long before he became MP for Bole-Bamboi) and Otiko, which never worked out because President Mahama was not interested!!
Former President Mahama saw Otiko as an abrasive, arrogant and a “too-known” lady he could not control. President Mahama later married his wife Lordina Mahama, who was very beautiful, curvy with an excellent back.
Since then, Otiko has not forgiven President Mahama. She later decided to join the NPP just to have her pound of flesh on someone she really loved and wanted to marry. Perhaps, her attacks and her arrogant refusal to apologise for the insults he rained on former President Mahama in the past are because she is jealous.
Last year, however, Ms Djaba, responded to the allegation on Accra-based Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen talk show thus: “Haruna Mahama is a liar, there is no such tradition among Gonjas. I don’t know what kind of Gonja he is.”
She said: “President Mahama is my brother. I’ll respect him till the day I die. We have different ideologies; it doesn’t mean that I don’t respect him. His father and my mother’s father (maternal grandfather) were cousins, they shared a common grandmother. My mother met my father in grandfather E.A. Mahama’s house, so, it’s a very close relationship. … I went into exile with my father when I was 16 years old at the same time that grandfather E.A. Mahama was also in exile, so, at what point did my father and grandfather E.A. Mahama arrange the so-called marriage? It is not possible; we are too close with blood for that to happen. Haruna is just playing mischief.”
Watch the full interview below: