Ben Nunoo Mensah has pledged to leave a “huge” legacy if he defeats Richard Akpokavie to secure another four-year term as Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) President.
Akpokavie is set to go up against Mensah when the GOC stages an Elective Congress in Accra today.
The challenger is reportedly leading an 18-member team consisting of 17 men and one woman challenging for positions within the GOC.
But Mensah, who has been GOC President since 2017, remains optimistic ahead of the election as he bids to extend his reign and lead the organisation at the 2023 African Games in Ghana.
“I won’t use the word confidence for myself, but I would say that I have belief in the delegates because of the work we have done together,” Mensah told Ghana Web.
“People say I have done this for the GOC, but I did it together with the National Federations, the delegates.
“We’ve worked together, so they would want us to keep working together.
“So as much as you would say fear delegates, I would say have confidence in delegates because whatever we’ve been able to achieve we did it together.”
Mensah claimed he had achieved 80 per cent of his targets since replacing Francis Dodoo as head of the GOC four years ago.
“If four years is enough to leave a legacy then eight years would be a good time to leave a huge legacy,” Mensah added.
“There are so many things we have done and key among them is opening up the GOC and the Federations feel part of it.”
Mensah had previously pushed to delay the election as he felt staging it earlier in the year could disrupt Ghana’s preparations for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
But other GOC members rallied against that proposal, highlighting how other National Olympic Committees have held their elections despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.
According to the GOC, National Federations for boxing, karate and weightlifting, which Mensah also leads, have all declared their backing for his re-election.
The GOC has come under fire from some critics for pushing Mensah’s campaign for another term at the helm on social media.
Presidential hopeful Akpokavie captained Ghana’s men’s national hockey team before going on to hold the roles of vice-president and president of the Ghana Hockey Association and member of the Africa Hockey Federation.
He is also the only Ghanaian serving as a Court of Arbitration for Sport arbitrator.
Having spent eight years as secretary general of the GOC, Akpokavie is aiming to replace Mensah as head of the organisation.
According to Ghana Web, Akpokavie’s supporters include Mawuko Afadzinu, President of the Ghana Table Tennis Federation, Evans Yeboah, President of the Badminton Association of Ghana, and Charles Osei Asibey, President of Ghana Armwrestling Federation, who are aiming to secure the positions of first, second and third vice-president respectively.
Richard Quarcoo, Ghana’s Chef de Mission for the 2019 African Games and President of the Ghana Squash Association, is in the running to become secretary-general of the GOC.