The Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Mustapha Ussif during the Ministry’s Press conference on Thursday, 8th September 2022 reacted to my earlier Article under the headline, “What is the Relevance of National Fitness Day under Ghana’s Current Conditions”, and he says my argument in the Article is baseless. Hahahahahaha.
First and foremost, I would like to educate the Minister of Youth and Sports that, an empty stomach and empty pocket of a struggling youth cannot participate in Fitness or Health Walk successfully.
I would like to state that, the need of Ghanaians and Party’s footsoldiers/, grassroots at this material moment is NOT Fitness Walk. We need to first of all provide decent job opportunities and empowerment Programmes for the Youth of this Country as a ruling Party before we can think of organizing Fitness or Health Walks for Ghanaians.
“National Fitness Day” is NOT among the priority of priorities of Majority of Ghanaians in this difficult period.
The Party’s footsoldiers/grassroots and Ghanaians are experiencing economic difficulties and you think that as a Minister responsible for the Youth the only solution you have for the suffering Youth is Health Walk under National Fitness Day?
I want to point out to the Minister of Youth and Sports that, the “National Fitness Day” being organized by his Ministry is just a *COPY INITIATIVE* from the United Kingdom and United States of America. There is no originality for Ghana’s “National Fitness Day” as far as the concept is concerned.
Globally, there are two prominent “National Fitness Days”. There is one in the United States of America founded in 2017 by a famous life and career coach known as Kim Bielak and it is observed yearly in the month of May. The other one is in the United Kingdom created in 2014 by Sanofi and PPP Healthcare, and it is celebrated in September every year.
The “National Fitness Day” celebrated both in the United States of America and United Kingdom were created by private people as a way to encourage Citizens “to get off the couch, turn off the television and workout”. The day is mostly observed privately by Citizens to do regular routine exercise and to maintain regular exercise schedule throughout the lifetime of Citizens.
Before the two “National Fitness Days” in the United Kingdom(UK) and United States of America(USA), the World Health Organization(WHO) since 2002 formally recognized April 6 every year as the “World Physical Activity Day” and it is observed by thousands of people around the world.
I would like to state categorically that:
1. The “National Fitness Day” celebrated in UK and USA are privately initiated and funded by the Citizens themselves.
2. There was never any official proclamation from Queen Elizabeth II(may her soul rest in perfect peace) about the “National Fitness Day” celebrated in the United Kingdom.
3. There is no confirmation of historical records in the British Parliament concerning “National Fitness Day” celebrated in the United Kingdom.
4. A proclamation on “National Physical Fitness and Sports Month was made by the President of United States of America, Joe Biden in 2021. He encouraged every American Citizen to discover an enjoyable exercise activity that fits into their DAILY ROUTINE.
President Joe Biden stated and I quote, “Now Therefore, I, Joseph R. Biden JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2021 as “National Physical Fitness and Sports Month”. I call upon the people of the United States to make DAILY physical activity a priority, to support efforts to increase access to sports opportunities in the communities, and to pursue physical fitness as an essential part of healthy living”.
I would like to respectfully ask the Minister of Youth and Sports this simple question, what is the sense in exposing the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for possible attacks from NDC and his competitors within NPP with this unnecessary National Fitness Day?
Since Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is a key competitor and one of the leading contenders for the 2023 Flagbearership position in the New Patriotic Party(NPP), the Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Mustapha Ussif should understand that the opponents of Dr. Bawumia within NPP might rationally think that the Government is hiding behind “National Fitness Day” to use State Machinery to create undue advantage for the candidature of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia ahead of the Flagbearership contest in 2023, something which is avoidable.
Also Hon. Mustapha Ussif should bear in mind that, the supporters of Alan, Kennedy, Akoto, Agyarko, Apraku, Kwabena and Joe might do same using different platforms if they feel threatened by Dr. Bawumia presence on the “National Fitness Day” Programme as an Ambassador.
When that happens, are we not making the work of Party’s leadership extremely difficult as far as fairness, equity and Impartial are concerned?
The Government and the Party should not be seen as creating favorable conditions for one Flagbearer hopeful at the detriment of other Flagbearer hopefuls. This will make it difficult for the Government and the Party’s leadership to unite the rank and file of the Party for Victory 2024.
I still insist that, the “National Fitness Day” whether private funding or public funding is completely needless and irrelevant under prevailing difficult time and season.