Minority fingers presidency over hockey pitch renaming

The Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium

The Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium

The Minority in Parliament is alleging complicity by the presidency in the Mayor of Accra’s controversial decision to scrap the name of Ghana’s national flag designer, Theodosia Okoh from the National Hockey pitch and replace it with that of the late President John Evans Atta Mills.

The Minority therefore wants a decisive action from President John Mahama to inflict the full penalty on Alfred Vanderpuye, the Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.

Moreover, the NPP in Parliament insisted that the Presidency should take a huge chunk of the blame and apologize to Ghanaians for the embarrassment.

The minority ranking member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture, Isaac Asiamah told Joy FM’s Top Story, Friday, that the decision by the AMA boss should “never be tolerated or accepted… he needs to suffer the consequence”.

Though the Chief of Staff, Proper Bani said the decision was taken without recourse to the presidency and ordered a reversal of the decision, Mr Isaac Asiamah said the directive rather exposed the “hypocrisy” at the Office of the President. Unconvinced by the directive, he described the whole back and forth with regards to the renaming as “strange”.

He buttressed his assertion on previous events where national assets were renamed under the late John Mills’ administration. He cited the renaming of the Ohene Gyan Sports Stadium and the Golden Jubilee House to the Accra Sports Stadium and Flagstaff House respectively.

The decision by the AMA “cannot be a mistake or action by an individual”, the MP claimed, adding “government feels so much embarrassed and want to save its image.”

He said to avoid a recurrent of any such “dangerous development” as exhibited by Alfred Vanderpuje, there is the need for the enactment of a “decent modern bill” to outline renaming of national assets.

Meanwhile, Dr. Franklin Aduro, Deputy Director at the Centre for Democratic Governance, maintained that Mr Vanderpuje’s action “is not new in our governance system”.

Citing an instance in 2004 where a district chief executive in the Volta Region renamed a shopping mall after himself, Dr Oduro suggested that the country streamlined its protocol in renaming state’s edifice.

He said a clear policy or legislation would define the parameter in which metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies can operate.

He also wants the way political leaders exercise their powers checked.

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