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Sports News of Wednesday, 10 February 2016


I’ll crush the ‘Mafia’ - Nii Lante

The minister designate for Youth and Sports, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, has vowed to crush the so-called ‘Mafia’ in the ministry which is believed to have sabotaged the work of previous ministers, as he plans a “revolutionary approach to sports development” if approved by parliament to take charge of the hot seat.

A firebrand politician who has openly voiced his disapproval of some developments at the Kwesi Nyantakyii-led Ghana Football Association (GFA), particularly during the reign of former President J.E.A. Mills, when he was a special aide to the late President, Nii Lante told the Parliament’s Appointment Committee during his vetting last Monday that he would ensure that no unseen hand or perceived ‘Mafia’ would be given room to undermine his work.

“If there is a mafia, I am ready to face that mafia head-on,” he stated.

The ace sports commentator and former chairman of the Ghana Weightlifting Association, told Asempa FM Tuesday that despite the high turnover at the ministry — if approved, he would become the eighth sports minister in the last eight years under the NDC administration — he he would work hard to put Ghana on “a path of positive change towards youth and sports development.”

“It’s a worry high turnover of ministers but we have to make a difference. We can make a difference in nine months.”

During the last Monday’s vetting, Mr Vanderpuye was in good company as aformer GFA chairmen Nana Sam Brew-Butler and Lepowura M.N.D. Jawula, as well as a former FA vice chairman Joseph Ade Coker, all stormed Parliament House to offer support to the MP for Odododiodoo.

Leopwura Jawula advised Mr Vanderpuye to be tough and decisive, and have broad consultation with all stakeholders in order to succeed at his new post.

The former FA chief noted that the incoming minister had a huge goodwill due to his long association and experience in sports and urged him to exploit that goodwill to succeed where his predecessors could not make it.

"Expectations are very high because of who he is and the kind of practical experience he brings as an old sportsman, a journalist and administrator. He's seen it all before and has worked with most people in the industry.

"Despite his experience, he should not assume he knows everything. Rather, he should consult and listen to both the high and low so he will get the co-operation needed to succeed," Lepowura Jawula told the Graphic Sports.

He said the Liberty Professional Oldies defender need not be afraid of the 'mafia' because it was just a perception.

"Nii himself is a mafia who has seen it all and knows a lot so he needs not to be afraid. All he needs to do is to prove to them that he is on top of issues.”