Uniting the people for socio-economic development. By Pius Attise
Easter as we all know, is the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Churches used everywhere to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Between the weekend of Good Friday to Easter Monday enjoyed by all and Sunday as a holiday, various activities are held throughout the country to foster unity, cooperation and draw future development plans in the area. Akatsi North constituency in the Southern Volta Region of Ghana is not an exception.
Every Easter, aside the religious carnivals, the holiday is considered a major social occasion for entertainments, sports and games, picnics, and a host of festive celebrations. On one such occasions, some twenty years ago, one Mr. Pius Yao Attise, a former Assemblymember of Ave Havi electoral area is on record to have organized a mega football gala in which sixteen teams participated. The occasion was graced by the former Minister of Sports, Hon. E.T. Mensah, accompanied by high profile government officials, as the Guest of Honour. On this Easter, for the third consecutive time, last Thursday 6 to Sunday April 9, 2023 the mantle for leadership in organizing Easter football tournaments changed hands with Dr. Stephen Torkpo, a seasoned politician and a Senior Research fellow at the University of Ghana, who is contesting the parliamentary seat of the Akatsi North occupied by Hon. Peter Kotoe for the past eighteen years.
Dr. Torkpo was partnered by his brothers, De-Cak Ventures and Charles Ahiati of Abrosso Group of Companies Ltd in organizing sixteen participating teams across the breath and length of the Constituency. The main purpose of the season’s competition was to use football to unite the factions within two main political parties and also bring together the traditional authorities in the district to resolve their differences, if any, and cooperate in promoting socio-economic development of their areas. As already noted, 16 powerful football teams took part in the competition. At the qualifying series, 8 out of the 16 teams dropped in the two days duel. The remaining 8 at the quarter final, contested at the knockout stage in which 4 teams triumphed and proceeded to the semi-final and final stages.
These teams were Shining Stars, from Ave Havi; New Star FC, Ave Afiadenyigba; Target FC, Nuaxorve and Rangers FC from Ave Sanyi and Ave Fiave. In the ensuring battle of dominance, Shining Stars of Ave Havi locked horns with New Star FC, Ave Afiadenyigba and after full time deadly encounter, Ave Havi Shining Stars emerged winners on 4-3 penalties to take the gold and silver trophies at stake. Earlier in the day, for the third and fourth places, Rangers FC, Ave Sanyi /Fiave bowed in an unpromising tussle to Target FC from Nuaxorve to bag the third and fourth places respectively and went home smiling with bronze trophy and jesseys. Mouth-watering prizes in cash and trophies were presented to outstanding players and teams in the tournament. For participation only each team was entitled to GHC 1000.00. The overall winners of the tournament, Shining Stars of Ave Havi bagged GHC 1500, while the runners-up New Star FC, Ave Afiadenyigba got GHC 1000.00. The third and fourth placed teams took home GHC 700.00 and GHC 500.00 respectively.
The individual players who excelled were Emmanuel Amoah, the best player, Desmond Attutu, the best goal-keeper and top scorer, Aneru Jr. all from Shining Stars of Ave Havi the host team. The defending champions, Ave-Hevi Iron Breakers retained the silver they won in the previous tournament. The tournament was watched on the final day by nearly 3000 spectators including traditional rulers, high profile government officials and holiday makers from all over the country.
In an interview with Dr. Stephen Torkpo, the aspiring parliamentary candidate for Akatsi North he observed that the district has a lot of potentials for development. He said what the people need is a change in leadership, defining change as “letting go of the old and encouraging something new to bring hope and development.” He stressed that there is a lot of potentials for education, agriculture, sports and creation of opportunities for new jobs, but what is lacking is the right leadership to harness resources and new brains to bring the necessary joy and happiness on the face of the people. He assured the electorate that if Dr. Stephen Torkpo is chosen to wear the mantle of leadership as the new MP in the country’s developing democracy, he will not fail the people in their hopes and aspirations to turn out things in the district.
By Pius Attise