Yesterday – Tuesday, September 20, 2022 – marked the end of the tenure of the Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) led by President Amaju Pinnick.
Not even the NFF Congress has the power to elongate the tenure of any Board and as such a decision at the recent Emergency Congress in Lagos that fresh Elections be conducted on September 30 does not hold water.
Nigeria Football has been worst for it in the eight years that Pinnick and his gang held sway.
It has been eight disastrous years that was built on massive vote-buying, corruption, lies, ego, betrayals, controversies, treachery, gross incompetence and courtroom battles.
The victims of this nightmare have been the country’s most loved sport and all those who in one way or the other derive pleasure and even a living from it.
Former NFF 1st Vice President Amanze Uchegbulam succinctly captured the genesis of the doom that first befell Nigeria football in 2014 in Warri, where an opportunistic Pinnick literally bought the NFF Presidency.
“Where is the honour when you are hiring somebody and you are induced to give out the job, it’s just like you want to employ a female staff and you’d have to go to bed with her before hiring her, how will such employee respect you?,” Uchegbulam questioned in a recent interview.
“This problem started in Warri in 2014 and 2018 in Katsina; and that is why the Executive Committee no longer respects the Congress.”
The Congress thus became a mere rubber-stamp assembly after each delegate received $10,000 in 2014 and between $15,000 and $20,000 by the next Elections four years later in Katsina.
When a Congress delegate has vowed to buy a new car from the next Elections, you then begin to grasp why the highest decision-making body of Nigeria Football has been so compromised as well as the quality of the 44-person assembly.
The lopsided composition of the Congress – 37 of the 44 delegates are State FA Chairmen – has meant that since Sani Lulu birthed this obnoxious and discriminatory 2010 NFF Statutes, the Presidency and the Executive Committee have been monopolised by these charlatans, who lead us from failure to failure.
It explains why the Congress as so constituted is not open to broaden its membership for a fairer representation of the Stakeholders even after a directive by President Muhammadu Buhari in that regard.
This is the new frontier of the battle for the life and soul of Nigeria Football.
It will be bitter, it will be fierce, it will be bloody, but there will be no retreat, no surrender.
This battle must be fought and won because never again should we stand and watch this Beautiful Game raped willfully by interlopers and scavengers, who have plundered the common wealth, massaged their life-size egos and stolen the joy of over 200 Million Nigerians in the past eight years.