Dr Okoe Vanderpuije
Dr Okoe Vanderpuije

……………… Youth, Opinion Leaders In Full Support Of Project

It has emerged that the allegations carried in section of the Media on the purported sale of the Kotobabi Cluster of Schools land by the Mayor of Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Dr Okoe Vanderpuije to “Gamblers” are mere propaganda to discredit the laudable project which is to serve the interest of the community.

Dr Okoe Vanderpuije
Dr Okoe Vanderpuije

It could be recall that The Herald Newspaper published a story alleging the sale of the said school land to his Cousin and some Turkish investors for the construction of a “modern gambling centre”.

But, the youth of the community who are to be the sole beneficiaries from the Astroturf project, rubbished the attempts by the Newspaper to create the impression as though, they are against the project.
According to the said publication, “Residents of Kotobabi Down in the Ayawaso Central Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, are fuming with rage over the decision by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to sell portions of the Kotobabi Cluster of schools land to a private developer for the construction a modern gambling center.”
Meanwhile, speaking to the Kotobabi community youth over the issue, they expressed dissatisfaction about the claims put up by the Newspaper and indicated their readiness to support any project that the A.M.A will undertake in the area that will inure to their benefit.

Although, the impression was created by the said publication that the Mayor had dashed the land to his Cousin, investigations conducted into the whole issue proved otherwise.
According to our investigations, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) had entered into a genuine contract with KADEMELA COMPANY LIMITED (KCL) to construct a 9-Side Astroturf on the Kotobabi Cluster of Schools Land for both commercial and social use.

In a follow up to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the A.M.A and the Company, the Planning Committee of the Assembly discussed the company’s application and approved it in Principle.
In furtherance to that, the two bodies entered into an agreement, whereby KADEMELA COMPANY LIMITED was accepted to “construct a basketball court for commercial and social use on the said cluster of schools, undertake a yearly painting of the said cluster of schools, provide complete fencing of the said cluster of schools as safety and security measure, provide lighting and standby generator for constant supply of electricity to the facility and construct bathroom and toilet facilities for the project and the school.”

The contract agreement also stated clearly that, KADEMELA COMPANY shall permit the football pitch and basketball court to be used by the school for gratis, and liaise with the school authority to support three brilliant but needy students from each school as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.

It was further agreed that the toilet and bathroom facilities that will be constructed by the company shall be exclusively used by the students and users of the pitch and the sports arena, whilst KCL is instructed to ensure periodic maintenance of the facilities in order for it to last for a longer period.

“Parties shall work together to ensure that sanitation standards are maintained at the entire facility and school compound,” the agreement stated.

Also, in the Agreement was the commitment on the company to allow for use, the facility be reserved solely for students of the school during school hours and be open for public use when class sessions are over.
Per the Agreement, a Committee is to be set up to manage the fund that will be accrued from the operations of the facility and oversee the day to day running of the facility to ensure transparency.

However, a letter from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, signed by the then sector minister, Hon Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, which is dated November 4, 2013 in the possession of this paper indicated the ministry’s unflinching support to the said project.

“The Ministry will like to inform you of its full support since the project aims at creating a Community recreational facility amongst densely populated communities to constructively engage the youth especially using sports and fitness who otherwise will be idle and prone to social vices,” the letter stated.
Meanwhile, some traditional and opinion leaders in the area are calling on the Assembly and the Company to carry on with the project since they will resist any attempt by propagandists who are out there to discredit the project.

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