My boss and I have our differences but there’s no bad blood – Deputy Sports Minister
The Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Pius Enam Hadzide has downplayed suggestions that he might be at loggerheads with his boss, Isaac Asiamah following revelations by Kweku Baako that a letter from the Minister triggered his suspension by the President.
The Deputy Minister of Sports, Board chairman of the National Sports Authority and Director of the NSA were suspended by the President after initial investigation into the scandal that rocked Ghana’s participation in the 2018 Commonwealth Games held in Australia.
However, the Deputy Sports Minister and the Board Chairman have been reinstated after independent investigations by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service.
Few days after news of their exoneration and subsequent reinstatement were made known by the President, the editor-in-chief of the Crusading Guide newspaper, Kweku Baako gave an account of how the substantive Sports Minister dragged his subordinate into the scandal.
Kweku Baako read excerpts of a memo the Minister supposedly sent to the President
“After meeting with the GOC [Ghana Olympic Committee] officials on 5th April 2018, I emplaned to Ghana. On arrival at the Airport on 6th April 2018, I came straight to the office and called the deputy Minister and the Director-General of the NSA to my office for a meeting. At the meeting, the Director-General admitted that he caused four names to be inserted in the list while the Chairman of the NSA Board [Kojo Baa Agyeman] added five people”.
“The Deputy Minister denied any wrongdoing on his part although many of those deported have implicated him. It is rather sad that members of the NPP [governing party], who have been entrusted with the responsibility of serving the nation, should put their parochial interests above that of the nation.
“Although the Deputy Minister has denied any wrongdoing, it is difficult to understand why the Chairman of the International Games Committee [Deputy Minister] did not know that the Director-General of the NSA and the Board Chairman of NSA had caused some names to be inserted in the accreditation system.
“It is therefore unacceptable for the Director-General and the Board Chairman of the NSA to say that they caused to be inserted only four and five names respectively. Indeed more than 60 Ghanaians were detained in, and deported from Australia. The question is who facilitated the acquisition of the visas and the accreditation for the rest of the people and how did these people escape the attention of the deputy Minister if he claims to be innocent,” the Minister quizzed in the memo, as read by Kweku Baako.
The revelation by the veteran writer resulted in people questioning the relationship between the two men charged with steering the affairs of Ghana sports.
Speaking on GhanaWeb’s Sports Check program, Pius Hadzide denied knowledge of the said letter and reaffirmed his commitment and loyalty to his boss.
“I’m not aware of any tension between me and the minister. I don’t know what Kweku Baako said. I’m hearing it from you now about tensions but like I said I have a relationship with my minister that is hinged on loyalty and respect and that’s what I know. I have heard all kinds of stories and I’m not in a position to deny or confirm anything.W hat I know is that I have a good relationship with my minister and we have continued to work together. It’s a human institution and we may have had our differences on one or two issues but I think that we are matured enough to know that in any human institutions there can be one or two disagreements but is that a source of tension or bad blood, I’m not sure there is”, he explained.