Professor Francis Dodoo will continue to lead Ghana Athletics after being re-elected as the association’s president for a third term at Saturday’s Elective Congress in Tamale.
Dodoo, the only candidate was overwhelmingly endorsed by delegates to serve another four years.
The congress had been scheduled to take place in December 2018 but was halted for eight months after former GAA president George Lutterodt, together with 14 others filled a Court case against the current administration for alleged financial malfeasance as well as constitutional breaches.
The plaintiff's injunction application was dismissed by the court on July 4, 2019, paving the way for the Elective Congress on August 17.
However, a day to the congress, the National Sports Authority in a statement revealed it had not sanctioned the election and had no hand in the event as they no longer recognize Bawah Fuseini as General Secretary of the association. The NSA insisted Bawah Fuseini had been assigned to Triathlon Association, hence had no mandate to convene GAA Congress.
Despite not getting approval from NSA, GAA went ahead with the congress, however, they had to use the Staff Common Room of the Tamale Senior High School as the NSA prevented them from using the conference room of the Aliu Mahama Stadium.
Drama at the Congress
According to a citinewsroom.com report, more than 80% percent of the people who initially filed nominations to contest in the December 2018 elections were absent. George Lutterodt, who had filed to contest with the Upper East’s Ababu Afielek and Samuel Ayer (Jollof) for the presidency was the most conspicuous absentee.
Prof. Dodoo himself had filed for nomination to contest for the position of vice president in the December 2018 elections, and when he took his stand at the congress, he stated categorically that the delegates had seen the last of him as GAA President and that he would not be seeking re-election for a third term.
When it was time for the elections, the last item on the list, many of the positions did not have contestants as they were absent.
As per the GAA’s constitution, the General Secretary then re-opened nominations on the congress grounds. One of the delegates nominated Prof. Dodoo for the position of president, he insisted he would not contest, but some of the delegates threatened a boycott of the congress if he did not accept their nomination. An emotional Prof. Dodoo was subsequently ‘forced’ to contest.
Ababu Afielek and Samuel Ayer, who had filed for position of president in the nullified nominations, opted to contest for different positions in the second nominations; Ababu picked up nomination for 1st Vice President, and Ayer contested for Organizing Secretary, the position he had held previously. This meant Prof. Dodoo was the sole candidate for the presidency.
The GAA has a delegate list 35, but only 23 were present, enough to form a quorum nonetheless. Prof. Dodoo’s position was confirmed with 22 of the 23 delegates voting yes, and only 1 absenting himself.
The rest of the positions all had sole candidates, except for the position of Deputy Organizing Secretary which Salamatu Musa won with 15 votes to 7.
Prof. Dodoo, in his victory speech, said while he was overwhelmed by the show of trust in him, he cannot promise that he will last the entire duration of his 3rd tenure, saying he would have preferred to set an example of only going for two terms, even though the constitution allows for 3 terms.
Below are the new Executives for GAA
Prof. Francis Dodoo – President
Ababu Afelebiek – Vice president 23
Mrs. Amui Harriet – 2nd Vice President
Samuel Ayer – Organizing Secretary
Salamatu Musa – Deputy organizing secretary
Christopher Darko-Amankrah – Treasurer