Choice of Essipong for new stadium without malice - Aidoo
Sekondi, Sept.12, GNA - Football fans in and around Sekondi-Takoradi have been told that the decision to build a new stadium at Essipong instead of the present site of the Sekondi Gyandu Park to host some of the matches of the CAN 2008 competition was in the best interest of the development of the area.
Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Western Regional Minister said that even though the decision, which was a "bitter pill to all of us", would have been suicidal to make unpopular decisions for the sake of political expediency.
The Regional Minister said this at a press conference at Sekondi on Monday to react to threats by some fans in Sekondi to demonstrate against the decision to build the new stadium at Essipong near Sekondi. Many football fans and indeed the whole of Sekondi-Takoradi received with joy the earlier decision to rebuild to Gyandu Park to meet standards for the CAN 2008 competition.
And there had been agitation by some soccer fans especially in Sekondi who have sworn to stand against the selection of the new site for the project by embarking on a demonstration.
Mr. Aidoo explained that the selection of the site at Essipong out of the other sites including Gyandu and the Takoradi Polytechnic Parks was without malice; "we should be grateful that at long last a site had been selected within the Sekondi Traditional Area".
Essipong became the preferred site when experts discovered that parts of the land at Gyandu was a rubbish dump and the country would require more than five million dollars to prepare the land.
The Takoradi Polytechnic Park was also found to be swampy.
The Regional Minister appealed to those planning the demonstration to take a second look at their decision so that their action is not misconstrued that the country was not prepared to host the tournament.
"We are in a global village and this can be hyped by the media who may be hostile to our course and eventually Ghana will be the loser".
Mr. Aidoo said this was a national issue that should not be politicised, adding that such demonstrations or 'Wahala' matches may cause delay of the start of the project.
He appealed to those kicking against the selection of the site at Essipong to 'take it easy' because there had not been any underhand dealing as far as the site was concerned.
Mr Philip Kwesi Nkrumah, Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Chief Executive said even though no compensation had been paid in respect of the new site at Essipong, agreement had been reached with the Chiefs and landowners and clearing of the site would begin next week.
He appealed to politicians, the Media, chiefs and other opinion leaders and particularly soccer fans to unite and cooperate with the Local Organising Committee to complete the project on schedule. Mr. Nkrumah said four pitches including the Gyandu Park would be renovated to serve as training grounds for the teams that would be based in the Metropolis.