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The Emperor Pinnick Forced Down From His High Horse

In the last eight years, Amaju Pinnick strode along with all airs; The Emperor of Nigeria Football, who determined who lived and who died. He was a lion ready to pounce and devour his prey.

You dared his authority at your own peril, after all he went on to be elected to the CAF Executive Committee as well as the FIFA Council that he now wines and dines with FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

But on Thursday at the NFF Congress in Lagos, he was a man, who finally sobered up to the fact that nothing good or bad goes on forever – no colour, no fanfare around him again.

Pinnick’s stranglehold on Nigeria Football has been cut loose even before a successor is elected at the end of next month.

NFF secretariat staff on duty at this event noted with amazement that he was civil and approachable for the first time in a very long time.

It had been a frantic two nights for Congress delegates with very little sleep during which time Pinnick himself admitted “we agreed and disagreed”.

The kite of a tenure elongation till January 2023 flown by some of his die-hard loyalists did not fly.

There was then mixed approval of his tenure to be extended by at least a month to October 20, 2022, but South West and South South stood their ground – it is either Election in September or impeachment.

On the floor of the Congress, Pinnick  was sober and even given to cracking jokes to lighten the tension at the assembly.

Like a father on his death bed, he preached love and unity in the house, asking colleagues to hug each other for “one and indivisible unit”.

“Recent events have so divided us, but we are here to mend fences, to be our brother’s keeper and that this life does not belong to us, but to God Almighty,” he sermonised like a Baptist pastor.

He said his decision to step down as NFF President was not taken now.

“This is a season to take a bow. I decided long ago not to be your President,” he said and when the assembly did not erupt into a loud cheer, he simply asked them to clap for him.

He lamented that he has been “so badly battered”, but at the same time he is consoled by the fact that “if you’re not on top, you can’t be a topic”.

So, who will be the candidate to succeed him by the Elections next month in the proud ancient city of Benin?

“I don’t have any candidate,” he stated.

“Everybody is my candidate.

“Just vote your conscience.”


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