STATEMENT: SACK Oko Vanderpuije – Young Patriots

Of all the mounting problems including the continues burning of markets, the filth, choked drainage systems, the lack of street lights, the traffic situation, unplanned buildings that have made Greater Accra look like a refuse dump Mr. Oko Vanderpuije’s preoccupation is the renaming of the Theodosia Okoh (a gallant woman) hockey stadium.

Not even the similarities in their names will stop him from shamelessly trying to send an almost forgotten hero to her grave with this dastardly act.

The President and the government cannot feign ignorance of the renaming of the stadium. The Young Patriots strongly believe that the President only changed his view about the renaming after the public backlash.

First and foremost the decision to name public edifices is taken at cabinet level and not by metropolitan, municipal or district assemblies. There is no law that empowers the AMA to take such a decision on behalf of all Ghanaians simply because the said edifice is located in Accra. It is within the right of the assembly to name regional, district and municipal properties but not national edifices. It is simply a cabinet decision.

However, the NDC government in order to shy away from the disgraceful renaming of the Ohene Gyan stadium to Accra sports stadium, used Mr. Vanderpuije as a decoy and got away with it without any serious public or political ramifications at the time. The most mind boggling reason of Ohene Gyan not being a Ga was cited for the name change. One would expect that the stadium will be named after a Ga after all if the reason for its renaming was because Ohene Gyan not Ga but that was not the case.

The continuous use of tribal, ethnic and religious justifications for such ridiculous decisions can only divide this country. This divide and rule tactic of the government must stop if Ghana is to forge ahead as one nation with one destiny.

Young Patriots challenge the government to sack Mr. Alfred Oko Vanderpuije if the President and his cabinet’s hands are clean in this matter. The people of Ghana cannot continue to countenance this bullish autocratic system of governance.

Furthermore, to show even-handedness, we call on the President to also reverse the name of Accra sports stadium to Ohene Gyan. This is especially so considering the role of Ohene Gyan in the development of sports and football in particular in this country.

Baba Yara was not an Ashanti but the Kumasi Sports stadium was named after him in recognition of his role in football. It is time ordinary Ghanaians are given their rightful place in history for the history of this country to be complete. We cannot continue to name everything in this country after only politicians. Ordinary Ghanaians are those who make this country tick and not politicians.

It is our challenge to the President that if he and his government had no hands in these renaming sagas, an immediate reversal to their original names should be done and a stop put to this attitude with immediate effect.

Signed

Richard Nyamah

Fred Amankwah Sarfo

Hopeson Adorye

John Kumah

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