President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Monday commiserated with victims of the May 9 disaster and assured the May 9 Foundation of the Government’s support to continue with its philanthropic and public-spirited activities.
President Akufo-Addo gave that assurance when the families of some victims of the May 9, 2021 Stadium disaster called on him at the Jubilee House, Accra.
The group led by its founder, former Asante Kotoko Football Club Chairman, sports administrator and philanthropist, Herbert Mensah paid the courtesy call on the President as part of activities to mark the 20th anniversary of the May 9, 2001 disaster.
On that day (May 9, 2001) a stampede by fans of rival football clubs Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko happened during competitive and rival match, which led to the tragic death of over 127 football fans at the Accra Sports Stadium.
President Akufo-Addo said government was committed to offer the needed support to the Charity to enable it carry out its activities and campaign to ensure that the unfortunate incident does not reoccur.
“You will have the modest support that this administration will be able to give you. I can promise you that”, he stated, and said the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and other relevant agencies will ensure that the disaster does not repeat itself.
He commended the founding members of the Foundation for keeping alive the memory of the victims of the disaster and engaged in other philanthropic activities that has ensured family members of the victims could look to the future with hope.
“I am happy that we have Ghanaians of your calibre who have made a decision about May 9th,” he said, intrigued to learn that the Foundation has since expanded its reach beyond football to embrace a wider social space involving dislocation of people by floods and other disasters.
“This is a huge undertaking and you need a lot of courage and capacity to be able to carry it out well”, he added.
On his part, Mr. Herbert Mensah reaffirmed the Foundation’s goal to offer the needed support to families of those who fell on the fateful day.
He apprised the President on the Charity’s activities and its aim to ensure Ghana does not witness such sporting disaster ever again, and the need for support for the organisation’s activities.
Mr Mensah praised the President for being the first to grant audience to the victims of the disaster since the incident, and said “in 20 years, it is gratifying to have a President who cares.”
He again expressed gratitude for the support received over the years.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD