The recent Ghana Football Association (GFA) presidential election, held at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Accra, was by every measure, historic as contrary to expectations, it turned out not chaotic.
At the end of a three-round battle, Mr. Kurt E.S Okraku was elected the 24th President in the association’s 62-year history, and will preside over the most controversial sports association in the country for the next four years.
The astute football administrator and former sports journalist secured 44 votes in the first round of voting, while George Afriyie trailed with 40 votes. The ‘surprised kids’ were Nana Yaw Amponsah and Fred Pappoe, who got 27 and 6 votes respectively.
After a stale second round, even though Afriyie voluntarily pulled out (in a spirit of sportsmanship), the election was thrown into a third round of voting in accordance with the GFA Statutes.
At the end of it all, Kurt Okraku, the sole candidate in round-three, polled 93 votes, out of 118, to emerge the winner, to fill the shoes of Kwesi Nyantakyi, whose administration tumbled after the No. 12 exposé. The rest is now history.
THE NEW PUBLISHER, however, thinks the entire process, and its outcome, have some food for thought for every ‘discerning’ politician in Ghana, more so as we inch closer to the 2020 general elections.
First of all, it appeared that the GFA delegates were ‘tired’ of the old guards in the association, and wanted new faces with fresh ideas. We think that, if it was a matter of experience or pedigree, then Papoe and Afriyie would have been anybody’s best bet, having served as vice chairmen for many years.
It is also not for nothing that Papoe, who had received Medal Awards for Excellence from both Presidents Kuffour and Atta Mills (for his contribution to the growth of Ghana football) got a miserable six votes. The same can be said of Afriyie, who had the ‘almighty’ Asante Kotoko and Medeama Football Clubs openly declaring their support for him ahead of the election, and yet couldn’t make it.
Doesn’t it again sound strange, how Nana Yaw Amponsah came from nowhere to become the darling of many delegates, placing third in the first two rounds? It is our view that, within our political space, this scenario can be replicated.
Already, millions of voters are expressing their disappointment at the two leading political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and are craving for a third force party. Though this may not happen anytime soon, we cannot ran away from the fact that it is looming.
Secondly, the spirit of sportsmanship demonstrated by George Afriyie in pulling out of the race in the interest of unity was worthy of emulation by all politicians. How many Ghanaian politicians, in this age and time, will voluntarily concede defeat when every available avenue had not been exhausted yet?
Finally, we think that, just as happened at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the next general election can be dragged into a second or third round, and politicians must psyche their minds for such a situation.
Just as national opinions can be sampled from a few people, we think the 120 GFA delegates, who come from every cranny of the country, have a word or two for political observers and pollsters.
Coming events, they say, cast their shadows.