MADINA ZONGO YOUTH DEMONSTRATE AGAINST THE SUPPOSED PARK - Zongo Link Multimedia

MADINA ZONGO YOUTH DEMONSTRATE AGAINST THE SUPPOSED PARK

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The Madina youth have registered their displeaseure towards the newly constructed park.They went on a peaceful demostration and addressed the public with their needs.

The Youth leader in addressing the public in his speech said: " The idea of governance in democratic countries has always been about representation. It has been and continues to be about listening to the people and addressing their needs. That is why every four years, we line up to vote in or out, people we choose to represent our aspirations and advocate for our desires. We recognize that we cannot each fill the chambers of parliament and shout on top of others in pushing for our collective goods. But this idea of governance is not rigid. It is flexible. It allows for dissent. It allows for the usage of peaceful and non-violent means of hold representative accountable before the 4 years of an election cycle are up. It allows us to insist on getting our needs met even before the time is up. Today, we are gathered here for that peaceful purpose. To register our displeasure with several happenings that have necessitated this action of ours.

History
Some two years ago, our local MP who at the time doubled as the Minister of Inner Cities and Zongo Development informed us of his ministry’s intentions to build a multipurpose Astro turf right here in our community. We welcomed this announcement with the glee it deserved. Such a development no doubt was to improve sporting activities in the communities as it not only included the building of a state of the art soccer field, but included ancillary facilities like a basketball and volleyball court. Before the sod was cut and construction commenced, the field use included a field whose size met GFA’s size requirement and had served as the home turf of the local colt teams (Top Ten as well as other teams), as well as two local Division sides. This field was popularly known as Zurak Park. There were also other smaller sized parks popularly known as small poles. They number 5 in all.
While the proposed stadium was going to include only one football pitch and thus depriving inhabitants of the community of the small pole parks they used to play on, members of the community saw value in having one big park so long as it was green grassed and most importantly, met the standard GFA Pro Size. That was the biggest concern of the community. It was a concern communicated expressly to the constructors of the stadium, Wembly.  The contractors assured the community that indeed, the proposed park was going to meet the GFA Pro Size and given that GFA Division 1,2 and 3 matches had been played on the park, nothing was going to change. We the members of the community were overjoyed. We were going to have a state of the art football field that could potentially host premier league games! The positive externalities from this were enormous.

THE SITUATION NOW
While we were promised a completion of the field in 3 months, the work dragged on for close to two years. Members of the community were kept out of the loop regarding the progress of work. However, our diligence pushed us to enquire about the progress of the work. When we did so, we noticed that while the football park was lush green and had seating areas, the size of the field was well below the standard GFA Pro Size. This was a complete breach of the trust the members of the community had vested in the contractor as well as the Ministry of Inner Cities and Zongo Development.

CLARIFYING THE ISSUES ON SIZE
FIFA RULES provide that a football field should meet the dimensions of 90metres-120metres in length while the width should be 45 meters-90meters. It is however important to note that FIFA further gives local FAs the discretion to determine their own size requirements. GFA’s pro size requirements are ( insert requirements here). The Madina Zongo Astro Turf field as we have it today does not meet these requirements. The dimensions of the field are (insert here). To that end, the field cannot be used for GFA Sanctioned Division or Premier Football. It can only be used for colts soccer. Even with Colts football, it should be observed that the field as we have it now does not have a seating area for teams neither does it have a warming up area. The building of a net quite close to the field with a block base even makes the field dangerous for a competitive game!
We have been robbed of our dreams of having a football field that was to host competitive GFA games and boost the local economy. Our dreams of having a GFA Premier League team adopt the stadium as its home grounds and potentially play host to Accra Hearts of Oak or Kumasi Asante Kotoko have been dashed. The local economy has equally been robbed of the potential boost.
For now, all we have been left with is a field that does not meet GFA’s size requirement and which from the declarations of the Minister for Inner Cities and Zongo Development, will be used to host events like weddings, festivals and what have you. What a huge blow to the sporting culture of Madina Zongo and the surrounding communities.

OUR DEMANDS
We are well aware of government’s desire to hasten up with works so as to inaugurate the stadium. We understand that. But we want to put it on the record that the constructors, local MP as well as the Minister for Inner Cities and Zongo Development have done the government as well as the people of Madina Zongo a great disservice. Our repeated engagements with the above mentioned entities have all proved futile. We have on several instances laid out our grievances to them to no avail. They simple scoffed at our pleas and acted in a very patronizing manner to us. This is what has necessitated our protest. We therefore demand the following from H.E the President of the Republic of Ghana who is a listening president and has charged us to be CITIZENS and not SPECTATORS.
1.     
THAT WORK ON THE STADIUM CEASE IMMEDIATELY SO PROPER NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE LEADERSHIP OF YOUTH GROUPS IN MADINA ZONG COMMENCE.
2.     THAT THESE NEGOTIATIONS SHOULD BE GEARED TOWARDS EXPANDING THE PLAYING FIELD TO MEET GFA’S SIZE REQUIREMENT.
3.     THAT AN MOU BE SIGNED BETWEEN THE COMMUNITY AND THE GOVERNMENT REGARDING MANAGEMENT OF THE PARK.

As the first major Zongo community in Ghana to have voted massively for H.E. The President, we believe you owe it to us to heed to these modest and reasonable pleas of ours. We are not demonstrating for any reason except for the greater good of Madina Zongo and the larger sporting community in Ghana. We therefore pray that H.E. The President would make good of his well deserved accolade of being a LISTENING PRESIDENT.

Madina Zongo does not need lush green fields lighted up at night if those fields do not serve the purpose for which they were initially built".

Thank you.

YOUTH LEADER

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