Sports in Ghana now wears the colours of the NDC

Ebo Quansah

By a statistical pronouncement, Ghana is a Middle Income nation. Believe it or not, this land of our birth, where many lawful citizens cannot muster a single meal, be it square or round, is being trumpeted by a failed administration as the very epitome of all that is good on the continent.

The last time I checked on the well-being of the various countries in Africa, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and even Libya, where oil money has transformed the peasant economy, are all classified as third world nations

There is no evidence of any nation on the continent, with the largest concentration of the black race, successfully making the transition from poverty-ridden societies into the relatively comfort zone of Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea.

How this society, where nothing works, leapfrogged into the league of Middle Income earners by doing nothing, tells everything about how Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills and his team of reserve players are patting their own shoulders, when every indicator points to the fact that they are running Ghana, the first African nation south of the Sahara to throw-off the colonial yoke, aground.

The new occupants of Government House are obviously dancing to their own tunes. The muffled sound coming out of their mutilated instruments is music to their ears.

When the President gave himself an 80 per cent pass mark for doing nothing on the commemoration of his first 100 days in office, it set the tone for the administration of this nation on make-beliefs.

If anything at all, the living conditions of most Ghanaians have nose-dived. There are many out there going to bed on empty stomachs. In the new means of conducting official business, you are either seeking protection under the umbrella, or you are not going to feature in the scheme of things.

I still shudder, reflecting on the President’s infamous statement that in his ‘Better Ghana’ sloganeering, he could only work with those who share his vision of political evolution.

What this means is that this administration is only interested in catering for those seeking protection under the umbrella. There cannot be any ambiguity about this presidential proclamation. You are either with us, or you are not part of those the state ought to cater for.
The ‘Father For all’ went further to instruct his ministers and district representatives to employ state funds in taking care of advocates of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC). The rules of engagements are clear!

Happenings in sports promotion tell everything about how this instruction is playing out at the centre of the earth. The order to replace the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwesi Nyantakyi, with Ayew Abedi Pele, as a contestant to the vacant Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive member position, tells everything about the NDC syndrome tearing away the heart of Ghana sports.

I can report on authority that the order to effect the changes, even when nominations had closed, came from the Secretary to the President. Akua Sena Dansua was only the conduit pipe.
The poor woman agonised over the directive for nearly a month, before summoning the courage to approach the GFA.

The Minister of Youth and Sports tried to get the directive reversed without success. She turned to the Chief of Staff, Martey Newmann, and virtually cried on his shoulders. The former General Secretary of the Ghana Olympic Committee tried his very best. But, the hawks propelling the NDC putche would not agree.

For the attention of Ghanaian soccer fans, Kwesi Nyantakyi, without doubt, the most successful leader of Ghana football, has been a target for removal ever since the NDC re-occupied Government House.

For nearly two years now, the state of Ghana has used scarce national resources to hound Benson Tongo Baba and his group of administrators from the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC). The GOC has been thrown out of its office at Ridge, a plush suburb of Accra, and its officials hauled before the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

In tune with his Master’s Voice proclamation, the SFO even froze the assets of the Olympic Committee, when it has no power under the laws of Ghana to do so. When an Accra High Court ruled the action as illegal, it still cut no ice with the perpetrators of the NDC or nothing agenda.
When the International Olympic Committee, citing its charter, threw its protective arm around the Baba-led executive, Minister of Sports Akua Dansua got a group of sports administrators, most of whom pride themselves as stalwarts of the NDC, to threaten to pull Ghana out of the IOC.
Their argument was that the IOC had dictated to sovereign Ghana to pass a Sports Bill by December 31, as a condition for fresh elections to be conducted by the GOC, a notion that had no bearing with the truth.

If anything at all, it was the Honourable Minister herself, who, in two separate letters to the IOC, told the world sporting body of a new sports bill which was to be passed by December 31, 2010. The bill, according to the Minister, would encourage elections in all national associations.

In her letter dated June 8, 2010 addressed to the Secretary-General of the IOC, Ms. Dansua said she visited the IOC headquarters and held discussions with officials on how to resolve the GOC impasse. “We discussed issues concerning the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) and steps being taken by the Ministry to resolve the existing impasse. These include the commitment of the Government of Ghana to see to the eventual conclusion of the matter, action on the draft Sports Bill, election of new executives for Olympic sports associations, and accountability issues involving the GOC.”

The letter went on to inform the IOC that 20 Ghanaian sports associations had successfully elected their executives, and that they were ready for elections anytime the GOC-led by Baba called elections.

“I am pleased to inform you that the Draft new Sports Bill has been approved by stakeholders after four (4) sessions of discussion. The Bill is being processed through Cabinet to parliament for passage into Law by the end of the year, as indicated in my earlier letter to you,” wrote Akua Sena Dansua.

In response to the Minister’s letter, the IOC wrote on September 30, delighted at the prospect of a new sports Bill that would kick most problems of sports promotion in Ghana to touch.

“From your letters dated 22 March and 8 June, we have taken note with great satisfaction that such revision process of your national sports legislation, which is under your entire jurisdiction, will be finalized by the end of this year at the latest,” wrote Pere MIRO, NOC Director.

It is obvious from these correspondents that the IOC never dictated to sovereign Ghana. The whole thing looks like giving a dog a bad name to hang it. On a more serious note, this columnist has in his possession a copy of a letter written by Mr. Lee Darpoh, Chairman of the Ghana Cycling Association, to the Chairman of the NDC and organs of the party, complaining that a person was being proposed to serve on the association, and that the member being suggested is not a member of the NDC. He should therefore intervene and nullify the appointment.

“Hon. Chairman, we are prompted to inform you on some developments as far as the party is concerned on this issue, in paragraph 6 page 1 of the petition, the Executive Board of the Ghana Cycling Association notified Mr. Worlanyo Agrah on the said development.

He told us he was in a meeting with the Board Chairman of the National Sports Council, Mr. Kojo Bonsu, when he, Mr. Kojo Bonsu, said he had received a call from the Castle authorising him, Worlanyo Agra, to re-instate one Mohammed Sahnoon as the Chairman of the Ghana Cycling Association’s Congress, and that Mohammed Sahnoon was the son of Dr. Kwesi Botchwey’s sister.

“Mr. Worlanyo Agrah then advised us to meet the Chief Sports Development Officer, Mr. Erasmus Adorkor, to find a position for the said Mohammed Sahnoon. He even advised further for the creation of a 2nd Vice-Chairman position for him.

We then met Mr. Erasmus Adorkor to find a position for Mohammed Sahnoon, and to fix a new date for the congress, as advised by the Ag. Chief Executive of the National Sports Council.

It was in this meeting that Mr. Adorkor left half-way to attend to other urgent assignments.

Chairman, Mohammed Sahnoon was the past Chairman of the Ghana Cycling Association in the NPP regime until 2009, when the association was reconstituted.
The letter went on to state: “He is the solicitor for Mr. B.T. Baba in the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) impasse against our Government. It will be recalled that that Mr. B.T. Baba on Thursday 17th August 2010 sent for the removal of office equipment from the offices of the GOC to his “private” office from where he operates. The Administrative Manager, who was bent on protecting the office of the GOC, blocked and stopped the removal of the items. Mohammed Sahnoon was on air (courtesy Joy FM) to condemn the action of the Administrative Manager, to the extent of criticising the Ag. Chief Excutive of the National Sports Council for bringing in personnel of the National Security to assist the Administrative Manager.

“Sir, if Dr, Kwesi Botchwey had once been a Minister for the NDC, what is the contribution Mohammed Sahnoon to the NDC party? Will he mount a platform to defend and campaign, for our party and government?

“For me, Lee Darpoh, the Chairman, Kofi Ohene Osae, the Vice-Chairman and other colleagues, the party and government can testify to our loyalty, commitment and dedication to the NDC, and for various roles we have played in our Better Ghana Agenda.

“Sir, should we allow party activists like us to be thrown out of our positions which we are already serving on?

“Dear Chairman, because of the LOVE and SYMPATHY we have for our party, government and the CYLING SPORT, we hope you will use your good offices to help address this unfortunate problem which Hon. Lee Laryea Afotey-Agbo has already initiated.”

If you do not know the political colour of sports under President John Evans Atta-Mills, there is your answer!

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