FEATURE: Vanderpuije meets Theodosia Okoh

John Mahama, Vanderpuije meets Theodosia OkohPresident John Dramani Mahama and the Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, yesterday went to the residence of Mrs Theodosia Okoh at Kanda in Accra to personally apologise to her for the botched renaming of the National Hockey Pitch after the late President John Evans Atta Mills.

Also in the President’s entourage was the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah.

A Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mr Felix Ofosu Kwakye, confirmed the visit to the Daily Graphic.

Mrs Okoh was said to have been overwhelmed by President Mahama’s visit to her house and the rendering of the apology.

She saw the visit as a privilege, considering the fact that the President had already rendered a public apology to her for the mistake.

The nonagenarian was said to have accepted the apology of President Mahama and the AMA Chief Executive.

The National Hockey Pitch was named after Mrs Okoh, a former national hockey star, who also chaired the National Hockey Association.

Last week, Mr Vanderpuije announced that the AMA had renamed the pitch in memory of President Mills.

The decision to rename the hockey pitch to coincide with the first anniversary of the demise of former President Mills attracted criticisms from many quarters.

In her reaction to the name change, Mrs Okoh described the decision as very painful because it was done without any consultation with her.

The Presidency then stepped in to stop the renaming of the pitch.

The Chief of Staff, Mr Prosper Douglas Bani, directed Mr Vanderpuije to reverse the decision.

Information released to journalists at the Flagstaff House said the Presidency was not aware of the decision to change the name from ”Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium”, and had directed a reversal of the decision.

Addressing a non-denominational memorial and thanksgiving service to round off activities marking the first anniversary of the death of President Mills in Cape Coast last Sunday, President Mahama described the renaming of the national hockey pitch after the late President Mills as a ”sad mistake” and apologised to Mrs Okoh for the act.

”I wish as President to express our regret as a nation to our grandmother, Mrs Theodosia Okoh, for any emotional trauma she might have suffered as a result of the mistake of renaming of the National Hockey Pitch,” he was reported as saying.

President Mahama said President Mills was a modest man, and indicated that Prof Mills himself would not have accepted the renaming of the hockey pitch after him if he were alive.

Source: Daily Graphic

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