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Opinions of Saturday, 27 July 2013

Columnist: Abdulai, Alhasan

Reconsider Re-Naming The National Hockey Stadium ...

.... After Professor Mills

Mr. Kwame Sefa Kayi of peace F.M deserves commendation for getting Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpujie the Accra Mayor to give reasons why he and the Accra metropolitan Assembly re-named the National Hockey Stadium after late Professor Mills. Tried as he did the Accra Mayor failed to sound convincing enough especially when he admitted being aware that the pitch had already been named after Theodosia Okoh the lady who designed our national flag.

It is worth noting that apart from the lady hailing from Accra she also played hockey, headed the Ghana Hockey Association and helped in acquiring the pitch. At least these are what I leant from Kwame’s interview with Dr Oko Vanderpujie who could not remember off hand the name of the lady who designed our National flag and the roles she played in the hockey fraternity.

Most people felt that the lady whose work gave Ghana its insignia without adequate reward deserves that honor of being named after the hockey pitch and more. But the mayor in a damage control measure says her name would still be attached to the hockey pitch by way of naming only the playing grounds after her. This is not fair because it means that her honor is being varied downwards. Someone must talk to the Mayor and the assembly to backtrack on their action.
It is believed that this plea would be accepted in good faith and acted upon by Dr Vanderpujie and the entire AMA that consist of reasonable men and women. Before he took this action he had also removed the name of late Ohene Djan (who helped develop Ghana sports particularly soccer) from the Accra Sports Stadium and renamed it Accra Sports Stadium. Ohene Djan was honored together with notable sports figured like late Baba Yara named against the Kumasi and late Robert Mensah for Sekondi stadia for making remarkable contributions towards sports development in Ghana.
One of the reasons for some of the people who agitated for this action to remove Ohene Djan’s name from Accra Sports Stadium was that in spite of all that he did for Ghana he did not hail from Accra. If one juxtaposes this against the naming of the hockey pitch after Professor Mills it would be seen that the mayor and those who took action to sideline Theodosia Okoh are not consistently fair. This is because while Theodosia comes from Accra and is also a hockey follower she deserves to be named after the hockey pitch. There is no denying the fact that Professor Mills who modernized the stadium earlier build with the help of Theodosia Okoh also a hockey person also deserves the honor of having his name attached to the hockey pitch. This time we need to apply the rule of fairness and natural justice by allowing the name already attached to the stadium to remain. That name is Theodocia Okoh. The earlier the mayor and the AMA take a critical look at this issue by possibly changing their minds on it the better, else some new regime that disagrees with him and the current members of AMA may take action in future to change all that he and AMA have done.
How many Heads of States since Dr Nkrumah our first Presidents have had monuments named after them in the whole of the country. I know the Kwame Nkrumah circle and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology after our first President, Rawlings Park was named after President Rawlings, perhaps for his revolutionary stance and none that I know as yet for President Kufuor. Yet these are men especially presidents Rawlings and Kufuor who after moving us from autocratic governance, lay foundation for democratic governance and massive infrastructural development. Yet in Accra alone the High Street and a Millennium School Complex have already been named after Professor Mills. The professor who professed to have lived a modest life might not wish to be placed in this difficult position. Those close to him must act now.
His followers and family might not wish to be pitched against Theodosia Okoh especially because they know what the lady has done for Ghana in the areas of hockey even after designing our national flag.
Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpujie, please, do something to gladden the hearts of those who do not agree with you particularly Kwame Sefa-Kayi to reverse your action of sidelining Theodora Okoh for Professor Mills at the National Hockey Stadium.
Come to think if this the lady at 91 is very much alive and when she heard about what has been done by Dr Oko Vandepujie and the AMA she became peeved and is asking for the reversal of the action as it does not sit down well with her.
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