Nii Lante Vandepuye who is a former Minister for Youth and Sports says no Member of Parliament belonging to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) accepted an offer from the Sports Ministry to travel for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The Odododiodio MP revealed that he cautioned his colleagues in the Minority against embarking on the trip when a letter was brought before the house to requesting that MPs who wanted to travel for the tournament to submit their names.
He said he foresaw the outcome if they had been part of the trip.
Nii Lante who was mounting a spirited defense for the Minority side of the house said, the move to have MPs sent to Egypt was a ‘trap’.
“We had about 400 supporters in Egypt, 100 of them were from the National Supporters Union, the rest are political party supporters from the various constituencies. For each of them, the Office of the Chief of Staff approved $50 per day – let’s calculate and see if they were 300. With this, I can tell you there was not one NDC member. Party supporters have been going over the years and it is not right. This year too, party supporters went. The [Sports] Minister tried to set Parliament up. A letter was brought to parliament indicating that, all MPs who wanted to go to Cairo should put their names down; if they cant, they should nominate one person in their constituencies to represent them”,
“But, I told my leadership, that they shouldn’t go because a trap is being set up for you. People were going to spend money, you spend some so when they come back, you cannot criticize them. So none of our members on the minority side went. Some of them were anxious because within two days, we had close to 80 names. I told them not to go because it was a set up. So they backed out for only the members of the select committee on Youth, Sports and Culture went”, he said on The Big Issue on Saturday.
The Minister for Youth and Sports Isaac Asiamah told the Parliament of Ghana that 4.5 million dollars was spent on Black Stars Africa Cup of Nations campaign.
The Minister who was in parliament on July 24, 2019, to answer questions about how Black Stars fared in the tournament and render accounts to the nation said Ghana budgeted 6.3 million US Dollars for the Black Stars training camp and AFCON campaign. Out of that, 4.5 million dollars was used. The remaining 1. 7 million dollars will be returned to the state.
Ghana only played 4 games at the tournament and were eliminated in the round of 16 by Tunisia.