General News of Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Deputy Youth and Sports Minister-designate, Joseph Yammin, yesterday disclosed how his long-cherished dream of becoming a soldier was shattered on account of his complexion.
He recounted that on two occasions he was denied enlistment into the Ghana Army supposedly due to his light skin. Mr. Yammin noted that a military officer that turned him away likened him to former President Jerry Rawlings, who is also light-skinned.
He said, “The military officer told me in plain language that this is just the same way Rawlings started.” According to him, the said military officer ensured that he was not enlisted into the Army, referring to him (Yammin) as a foreigner.
Mr. Yammin made these revelations when he appeared before the parliamentary vetting committee. The NDC capo tried being enlisted into the Ghana Airforce and Ghana Armed Forces but his application was not considered at all.
The nominee disclosed that he is a Ghanaian, and that his mother is a native of Sankana in the Nadowli District of the Upper West region.
Born and bred in the barracks at Kumasi, Mr. Yammin said he had a strong desire of becoming a soldier but was so victimized that in the end he gave up. He said he was so peeved for being treated harshly that he even tried going to the Castle in Accra to report his ordeal to the presidency then.
He said he joined active politics in 2008 after his second attempt of becoming a soldier proved futile.
On what he could do as a minister to revive Ghana’s dwindling fortunes in soccer, he said the standard of football is not falling as being speculated. However, he noted that Ghana is struggling to stand on its feet in football lately due to poor scouting for soccer talents which abound in the hinterlands.
Mr. Yammin, a goalkeeper in his youthful days, stressed that he has a lot of experience in sports and therefore Ghana could benefit from his expertise.
Sounding humorous, he told the vetting committee that he still looks agile, and is ready to man the post for the senior national team if his services are needed.
Mr. Yammin said it is time Ghana began to develop the lesser known sports and also improve upon popular sporting disciplines like football and boxing. This, he noted, would brighten Ghana’s chances of winning laurels at the next Olympics Games and other international sporting events.
He promised to support his boss Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah to develop Ghana sports and also clear the ghost names in the NYEP. The nominee debunked claims that he is a trouble-maker, stressing that he is a peace-loving person who delights in supporting the needy.
His vetting was attended by traditional leaders and NDC executives from the Ashanti Region among others. Also present was Theresa Yammin, wife of the Deputy Sports Minister-designate, who came with the couple’s two children.