Nii Lantey Vanderpuye has revealed Randy Abbey and Fred Pappoe as being among his key advisors in his antagonistic and disastrous reign as Ghana’s sports minister.
Abbey and Pappoe, who were rumoured to be seeking to force Kwesi Nyantakyi out as the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), are now confirmed by Vanderpuye to be among those who helped him to formulate the warpath policy against the federation.
Vanderpuye’s voluntary disclosure lends credence to the suspicion that his hostile posture towards the GFA was calculated to cause disaffection, disdain and mistrust to ultimately force the federation’s president Nyantakyi out of office.
The minister once told party supporters that Nyantakyi belongs to the opposition NPP party nicknaming him the ‘NPP Obama’ citing that as the reason for the dislike for the GFA president.
There is a grounded belief among GFA officials that the ultimate agenda by Nii Lante was to use all means available to force Nyantakyi out with Abbey and Pappoe lined up to return to the helm of Ghana football.
Abbey and Pappoe were key members of Nyantakyi’s administration until they both lost elections about four years ago to be on the Emergency Committee of the GFA which led to them turning against their former boss claiming he didn’t help their re-election bid.
Since their exit from the Emergency Committee of the GFA, the duo were suspected to be behind the scandalous and libellous media attacks on the GFA seeking to paint Nyantakyi and the federation as corrupt – two journalists currently are standing trial over some of these false media reports.
Vanderpuye will not live any longer in his position to carry out his agenda as his party lost the election which means he will not be retained as the sports minister.
He has now confirmed that some of his key advisors were those who are suspected to be scheming against Nyantakyi to take over his position at the federation.
“I have to thank a lot of people like you (Bright Kankam Boadu) and some journalists who gave me advice. People like Randy Abbey, Fred Pappoe, ET Mensah on the advice and a lot of things they did really helped my reign,” Vanderpuye told his favourite Nyhira FM.
Vanderpuye was not close to the out-going President John Mahama following his aggressive attitude towards the then Vice-President when the sports minister was then a close aide to the then President John Evans Atta Mills.
When President Mahama took over the leadership of the country following President Mills’ death Vanderpuye was not considered for top posts because of the way he previously treated Mahama.
But Abbey, a close friend of President Mahama, is alleged to have been among those who helped Vanderpuye to regain the leader’s trust and subsequently his post as the Sports Minister and as payback must make Nyantakyi unpopular to pave the way for his return to lead the GFA.
Since Vanderpuye took over the sports ministry football has seen as sharp nosedive with the Black Stars almost unlikely to qualify for the 2014 World Cup because of his policies and antagonistic public campaign against all arms of the team including players, officials and coach.
He even refused to pay plane tickets for the players to travel to the country to play in a dead-rubber Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda which forced players to pay on their own to play for the country. It is the first time players have paid to play for their country in the modern era.
The Black Satellites failed to qualify for the Africa U20 Championship under his reign and all the women’s national teams crashing out early from key international tournaments because of his poor management of the teams’ preparations and financial matters.
Vanderpuye is widely seen as the sports minister with the most disastrous record in results while in office and some have blamed him for his government’s failure to win the general elections.
Many key supporters and leaders of his NDC government who are part of the football industry openly claimed the attitude of the minister could lead to the party’s defeat.
With the opposition NPP party winning last week’s some members of the GFA who are also part of the NDC party pointed out that Vanderpuye was the main cause of the defeat with failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup looming.