From all walks of lives, all races and all believers, the only thing that mattered in Oda on Sunday the 19th of July 2022, was the step into greatness; the day Akyem Oda formally moved to the top echelon of Ghana Football.
This was not until after eight years of fierce attempts and failure for Kotoku Royals to get into the Ghana Premier League and 19 years for any Eastern regional team to play in the elite level of Ghana Football.
Amidst funfair, jamboree and partying, everyone who mattered in the history of Akyem Kotoku was present at the Oda Stadium to witness this historic occasion.
From the traditional leaders, and government officials, to politicians, religious leaders, opinion leaders and people from all walks of life filled the stadium to the rafters as history unfolded before their eyes.
Dr. Oseadeayo Frimpong Manso IV, the Chief of Akyem Oda mentioned that the team’s qualification had brought unity among the people, further adding that it would be of great economic benefit to the town.
“This is unprecedented and we are very happy and all minds are going to come together as people to try to make this sustainable into the future,” he observed.
“I believe the same hard work that brought the team to this level is going to drive them and let them perform. And being that they are representing Kotoku as a proud team, I believe they would go places and do very well in the premier division.”
Mr. Alexander Akwasi Acquah, Member of Parliament for Akyem Oda however noted the need for all natives of Akyem to put their hands on deck to ensure the clubs stay at the top.
“We are representing the Eastern region and so we are extending our invitation to the whole of Eastern region to come and hold the fort so that Kotoku Royals remains jn the Premier League,” he said.
“The fact that the people of Akyem Oda would be witnessing Premier League football on their soil is a big deal for the people and would cherish this moment.
“It was an unusual crowd with old men and women, and children – an audience make-up you won’t find at a regular football matchmaking up almost 60 per cent of the turnout.”
A 58-year- old trader, Daniel Addae captured the essence of the day for the people in words: ” A day we would never forget. This is special for us and we are ready to do everything in support to ensure we remain in the Premier League. This is our only way to let the world know about Oda”.
Mabel Deheer, a 23-year-old student said she wasn’t a football enthusiast but the success story of Kotoku Royals had brought a sense of commitment, togetherness and patriotism among the people hence her visiting the stadium to witness the historic moment.
She added they expected more support in their Premier League campaign.
Meanwhile, in a coronation match to crown the side as champions in Zone 3; a resilient Susubiribi SC- also from the same zone- came back from two goals down to level the game at 2-2 in the second half.
That did not in anyway put a dent on the honour the team had done to the people of Akyem Oda and the Eastern region as revellers ran into late night partying their success.
Mr. Linford Boadu Asamoah who is the president of the club said the support from the people of Akyem Oda should be a strong statement of caution to teams that woud be visiting their home venue – which he describes as “waterloo”- in next season’s Premier league fixtures.
The Royals finished top of Zone Three at the end of the season with a point above second placed Liberty Professionals on the league log.
The Akyem based side have thus secured tickets to compete in the 2022/23 GPL season.