A grateful Theodosia Oko has declared her intention to kiss the president’s legs in appreciation of his order to halt attempts by AMA boss to rename the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium after the late president Atta AMills.
It was a case of turning mourning into dancing as Theodosia, a deeply respected and decorated national hero heard news of the President’s order.
The order also summoned the under sieged AMA boss, Alfred Oko Vanderpuye to the presidency. Oko Vanderpuye has been under a torrent of nationwide criticism as people descended on him on facebook and other social media outlets, Thursday.
A former Minister of Sports, O.B Amoah insisted that it was not within Mr Vanderpuye's power to change the name of a Hockey Stadium without consulting the presidency.
A former deputy Minister of Sports Joe Aggrey explained that the decision to name the hockey facility after Mrs Okoh was taken in 2004 after careful deliberations and consultations by a competent group of people who formed a committee set up by the then government. It also got cabinet approval, he revealed.
The Sports Writers Association of Ghana also appealed to President John Mahama to get the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to reverse its decision to re-name the National Hockey Pitch after late President John Evans Atta Mills.
Public disgust appears to have culminated in a statement from the presidency directing a reversal of Oko Vanderpuye’s decision.
This announcement was relayed to the 91-year old Theodosia on Joy FM's Newsnight. The elated nonagenarian gratefully remarked “I would have come and kissed the president’s legs”.
But she says it is only if she could walk.
Mrs Oko said she felt privileged by the president’s decision and expressed her gratitude to Ghanaians for recognizing her contribution to this nation.
Edwin Appiah with files from archives
Theodosia rose to be among the best artists and designers when in 1955 the challenge was thrown to her to develop a flag for Ghana. She was able to do this guided by the words of Mr. Philip Gbeho, the composer of the national anthem, and the colours were picked by many African nations with little variations.
She received an award from ECRAG in 1993 for “Special Honours for the Design of the National Flag”.
Mrs Okoh is also a lover of hockey and played a lot of it with old Achimotans and held many responsible positions such as the Deputy Chairman for the Hockey Association. She was also the Junior Red Cross Director. Using her position as Chairman of the Hockey Association, she fought to ensure that the only hockey pitch near the Electricity Corporation in Accra was maintained and not replaced by a lorry park.