Former Minister for Youth and Sports, Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye has commended the former president John Dramani Mahama for his vision for the sports sector in the country.
Taking over from the late President JEA Mills, the Ododiodoo MP observed that Mahama brought on board some energy to the area of sports in the country and set a target for him as a sector minister.
Vanderpuye who was speaking to Nana Prempeh (British Man) on XSports on TV XYZ Friday night indicated that the Mahama-led administration at the time put down achievable goals that were geared towards the transformation of several sporting disciplines in the country.
“If John Mahama had won the 2016 elections, the transformation of sports in Ghana would have been the best. Nana, you wouldn’t be here talking about the challenges of sports by now,” the former GBC journalist noted.
“We knew the problems in the ministry so we planned what we were going to do with football, athletics, boxing, hockey. Our plan was that between 2016 and 2018 we were going to do infrastructure, human resource development, and all,” he added.
“And why we planned this was because of the 2022 Olympic games,” Vanderpuye disclosed “Our plan was toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics games as well.”
He continued, Our aim was that Ghana will get a medal at the Olympic games. We were not joking at all, with Professor Duodu, we focused on athletics because that is where the attention is during such games. There was a plan to make athletics attractive so some of the Ghanaian born abroad could join us and run for us.”
Throwing more light on the specifics, the former pugilist disclosed that the government planned to build multi-purpose sports stadia at Ho, Koforidua, and Bolgatanga to help harness talents for the country.
“Our first term in government was an incubation period to hatch our plans and make sports better,” he added and urged Ghanaians to vote for John Mahama when he contests the 2024 general elections.
“If Ghanaians want to see sports doing well in the country, they should vote for John Mahama again,” he urged.
He said the president at the time gave him the support he needed to transform the ministry and ensure corruption reduced to pave way for talents to be nurtured well. He added that was the reason he was able to slash budgets for the national teams.
“As a sports Minister, I started a revolution to bring some sanity to sports and football administration in Ghana…I don’t want a comfort zone; I like challenges. The job at the Sports Ministry was an easy task for me because I had already worked there before under E.T Mensah so I knew the problems and how to tackle them.
By Henryson Okrah|Myxyzonline.com|Ghana