First Lady No-Show At Aisha Buhari Cup Takes Shine Off Tournament
FIFA President Gianni Infantino and CAF President Patrice Motsepe are billed to attend the inaugural Aisha Buhari Cup, but Nigeria’s First Lady Aisha Buhari, whose name headlines the international tournament, is most likely to be absent and rob the shine off it.
The Aisha Buhari Cup, which kicks off tomorrow, is widely seen as an ego-tripping event by NFF President Amaju Pinnick to warm his way into the Presidency with the hope he will get the Government’s blessing to gun for a third term amid persistent corruption allegations.
The organisers of the women’s invitational tournament failed to meet up with the First Lady, who according to media reports has since returned to Dubai after the wedding of her son.
“This tournament is the Grandstand statement by Pinnick that he wishes to continue after next year’s NFF Elections,” a source informed www.insideglasshouse.com
“He has been doing his utmost best to make a case for himself with allegations of impropriety still swirling around him despite passing a so-called FIFA Integrity test.”
Another official said: “Pinnick wants his many sins to be forgiven and forgotten by the Presidency.
“And so now to get to President Buhari, he will go through the wife.
“But he forgets that may not cut with Baba.”
Pinnick’s surprise ascendency to the NFF Presidency seven years ago was made possible by another Nigerian First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, and the political calculation is that he could again get the Aso Rock Presidential Villa to rubber stamp his third coming and hence the Aisha Buhari Cup.
Nigeria Football under his watch is fast dying no thanks to a complete neglect of the development of the game at the expense of the country’s foremost sports brand, the Super Eagles.
Close watchers of the Nigeria Football have sniggered at recent sponsorship deals bagged by the NFF, insisting that monies from such deals do not trickle down to the main actors – the players and the clubs – because they end up in the pockets of a handful of people.
His henchmen – Seyi Akinwunmi, Shehu Dikko, Ibrahim Gusau – also have their own personal ambitions after many years of loyalty and doing his bidding.