No condition is permanent

BY: Razak El-Alawa

Some recent happenings in our own football world in Ghana have reminded me about this popular and favourite wise saying of mine, that no condition is ever permanent.
They had to do with various elections at the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and at the regional level. Football administrators representing various clubs from various divisions were elected into the GFA executive committee, a very powerful group, and in the regions, representatives of clubs were also elected to chair the regional FAs.

I was only reading about who and who were contesting in the media. I did not have anybody in mind nor did I show any interest in who was contesting what position. Some of those who made the news during that election period were familiar names who were contesting on the ticket of popular clubs and not so popular ones.
I read that the GFA Vice-President, Mr Fred Crentsil, who represented Techiman City FC and vice-chairman of the management committee of the Black Stars and Mr Kojo Fianoo, CEO of Ashgold, who won the just ended premier league, emerged as the high profile casualties of the GFA National Executive Committee elections.

It was also reported that new faces such as Samuel Opoku Nti of Asante Kotoko, Accra Hearts of Oak board member, Frank Nelson Nwokolo and Nana Banyin Eyison of Sekondi Hasaacas won seats on the executive committee.
They joined Black Stars Management Committee Chairman George Afriyie, representing Liberty Professionals, Aduana Stars’ Albert Commey and Inter Allies CEO, Eric Delali Senaye together with Division One representatives Kweku Abaka Eyiah and Wilfred Kwaku Osei (Parma) to serve on the executive committee.
What, however, interested me was the report that Jones Alhassan Abu, together with the experienced Kofi Manu (Blue Blue), were booted out.

Monitoring football for half a century
I must say I have followed Ghana football religiously for more than half a century, at least from independence when the legendary Ohene Djan was the master of all that he surveyed through the post Nkrumah / Ohene Djan era when Nana Fredua Mensah through Henry Djaba and Major – General Bob Kotei tried their luck but with little success.
People such as Col Brew Graves, George Lamptey, Major O O Asiamah down to Sam Okyere, S K Mainoo, Zac Bentum, LTK Cassar, Awua Nyamekye also came to play their parts and left.

Then came the modern times, starting from Nana Brew – Butler, through MND Jawula to Ben Koufie, Nyaho – Tamakloe to the current President, Kwesi Nyantakyi. I have mentioned this tall list of personalities who came to chair the GFA at one time or another to show that in the headship of any organisation, people come and go, do their best to improve the organisation and leave the rest to posterity to judge whether their best was good enough.
It can also be noticed that it was only Ohene Djan, probably, who did the job full time. All the others were part-timers, who had their main jobs elsewhere. Football administration was only a secondary matter.

But it appears in very recent times football administration has become a full-time job. It is now a serious business, yes a money making business. People get elected or are appointed to various committees where they attend meetings every now and then, both at home and abroad. They are also selected to attend various football competitions that are played all over the world on behalf of the GFA. In all these, they earn very fat sitting allowances or per diems which are enough to ensure a decent living.
It is the way football has become so lucrative that has made its administration a full time activity. Hardly would you find anybody having a permanent job somewhere and only being involved in football on a part-time basis, like the Butlers, Jawulas and Nyaho - Tamakloes did. Today, football is a big time business that must be run full time.

A week after reading that good old Jones Abu Alhassan had been booted out of the executive committee of the GFA came another bombshell that Alhaji Adam Munkailla Nassam, who had been the Northern Regional Chairman of the FA for more than two decades, had been defeated by a 38-year-old, Abdulai Alhassan, a former footballer, who I understand runs the Utrecht Soccer Academy in Tamale.
I couldn't believe my ears when I first heard this on a Radio Uniiq Sports Round Up programme. I had to wait till the following day when I read about it in the newspapers.

Mugabes of Ghana football
It is interesting to note that both Jones and Adam Munkailla and another person from the Central Region were described in the press as "Mugabes" of Ghana football, who had been around football's corridor of power for a while.
I must say that the "fall" of both Jones and Admun (as Munkaila is popularly known) sent shock waves throughout football-crazy Tamale Metropolis, the Northern Regional capital, where the duo hail from. I received several calls from friends in Tamale who merely wanted to know if I had heard the news.
I have been ruminating over this matter for some time now and I have come to the conclusion that Jones and Admun were not as popular as they themselves thought they were after all.

In the case of Jones, he had always strongly lobbied to get himself elected on the executive committee of the GFA. One thing nobody can take away from Jones is that he is versatile and very knowledgeable when it comes to football, especially at the global level. But he had forgotten that when you have been around for so long and you refuse to stand down, the young, up and coming ones will shove you off.

In the case of Admun, he has used subterfuge, chicanery and intimidation to remain at the helm of affairs of the regional FA. This was once a young enterprising contractor who by chance was nominated to chair Real Tamale United (RTU). Since he tasted the sweetness of being a member of the GFA through RTU, he abandoned his construction business and refused to let go his grip on RTU and the regional FA despite the fact that there were other very capable hands around.
My beef now with Jones and Admun is the way they ran RTU to the ground. They are totally responsible for the sorry state in which RTU and football in the Northern Region have found themselves today.

Jones, the intellectual and Admun, combined to seize power in RTU and remain at the helm so that they would continue to ride on the back of RTU to the GFA. Even when it was clear that things were not going well with RTU, they refused to allow others to come in and save RTU from collapse.
When RTU started in the mid-70s, it was seen as a club belonging to the people of the north who for once were proud to have a club from the region rubbing shoulders with other clubs in the country. But Jones came with his theory that RTU must be run in a professional way with a board who did not care about the supporters and other well-meaning people of the north.

How can any club survive without the supporters and its old players? The duo of Jones and Admun did not allow anybody to have a say in the running of the club unless you were ready to play ball with them. They packed the board with so many notable personalities but only three or four of them were meeting to take all the decisions.

Prayers for RTU
Definitely, there is no condition which is ever permanent. Things couldn't have gone the way Jones and Admun wanted. Whatever has a beginning must also have an end.
The youth have also come of age. You only try to frustrate them at your peril. That’s why with all the machomen Admun sent to the stadium during election time, he was swept away by the hurricane.
I salute Karimu Star Boy, a veteran of RTU who withdrew from the contest to throw his weight behind Abdulai Alhassan so that we shall see a new dawn.
I salute the new FA boss for standing firm in the face of intimidation to open a new chapter in northern football. The old have been swept away, yielding way to the new.

I salute Alhaji Alhassan Alolo, Kwaku Dua, Abdallah Kassim, S. Y. Adam and all those who during the past two decades have fought to stop RTU from going down the drains
May RTU rise again from the ashes of the destruction caused by Jones, Admun and their cohorts. Amen.