President John Dramani Mahama in the coming days may be compelled to reinstate immediate past Minister of Youth and Sports, Mahama Ayariga, as players of the senior national soccer team, the Black Stars, are craving for the return of the Bawku Central Member of Parliament.
While others, especially some sports journalists hailed the President’s decision to reshuffle the tough-talking Harvard trained lawyer-turned-politician, players of the Black Stars are reported not enthused with the move and are knocking on the doors of President Mahama to reverse his decision.
Many other Ghanaians, particularly followers of sports and analysts have also opposed the Bawku Central MP’s redeployment with claims that Mahama Ayariga ought to have been maintained to conclude his transformational agenda at the Sports Ministry.
The Black Stars are the latest to join the campaign for the return of the Bawku Central legislator who was recently promoted from the non-cabinet Sports Ministry position to the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation ministry, making him one of the 19 cabinet ministers as stipulated by the constitution.
He was replaced with a former Minister of State at the Presidency and MP for Ayawaso East, Dr Mustapha Ahmed, who has vowed to continue the good works started by his predecessor.
However, speaking on the issue over the weekend, captain of the senior national soccer team, Asamoah Gyan, told Radio Gold’s Nana Darkwa Gyasi that despite Mahama Ayariga’s short stay at the Sports Ministry, he remains one of the best Sports Ministers in the country’s recent history.
Mahama Ayariga’s reassignment generated mixed reactions from connoisseurs of the sports fraternity following a ‘brawl’ he had with some journalists while responding to questions relating to budget of the last AFCON tournament.
But, the Al Ain top striker, stating the views of what many believed represents that of his colleagues, said he would have wished the astute politician was maintained at the ministry, noting "I think Mahama Ayariga is one of the best sports ministers Ghana has ever had. In his short period as the minister he did extremely well and I expected him to continue since he was doing very well.”
While acknowledging that the President has the sole prerogative to decide who heads a particular ministry, the former Liberty Professionals and Sunderland attacker said
“The President of the country has the sole prerogative to decide who should serve in a particular position at any given time and that must be respected by all. However, it is also my opinion that if competent people are appointed to the sports ministry they must be given the time to finish their good projects otherwise laudable and progressive projects by the minister will be truncated."
Most Black Stars players, The aL-hAJJ gathered, have expressed similar sentiments; with many of them calling on President Mahama to return the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister back to his former Ministry.
Aside the Black Stars captain, sports enthusiasts and analysts have bemoaned the frequent changing of Sports Ministers since 2001, arguing that it does not ensure stability and completion of laudable projects.
“Trust me; Ayariga could have changed the face of Sports in this country. He spent less than six months at the ministry but look at what he has achieved. For me one of the things that he did that impressed me most was his resolve to give equal attention to other sporting disciplines. I’ll be happy if the President changes his mind and bring him back. He has started very good projects and he must be supported to complete them…”
“I’m not saying the new Sports Minister cannot do the job, but with what Ayariga has done in his few months stay at the ministry, I can confidently say that he is the best person to manage that ministry.
He is human and obviously he is fallible, but that is human nature we are all fallible…the problem with Ghanaians is that if you say the truth they consider you as arrogant so even though most of us didn’t like when the President reshuffled him, we couldn’t come out to complain but we are appealing to His Excellency to rescind his decision,” a senior member of the Black Stars managing committee, who does not want his name mentioned, told The aL-Hajj in a recent interview.
Commenting on the subject, a renowned football administrator also told this paper that frequent changing of Sports ministers have been the bane of development of sports in Ghana, stating “since Rawlings left power, we have not had a stable Sports minister. Kufuor in his eight years produce 7 Sports Ministers. The NDC in almost 6 years has so far equaled the records of the Kufuor administration by producing 7 Sports ministers…this does not augur well for sports development in Ghana.”
By contrast, Rawlings’ eight year constitutional regime produced only one sports minister in the person of Hon Enoch Tei Mensah. E.T Mensah, as he is popularly known, was earlier a deputy minister of sports under the PNDC in 1992 before rising to the substantive position in 1993.
Source: The Al-Hajj
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