Amaju Melvin Pinnick (2014-2022): All Bad Things Must Come To An End
It must be the craziest irony that in his farewell address in Benin City on Friday Amaju Pinnick spoke about “all good things must come to an end”.
Was Pinnick good for Nigeria Football?
A capital NO.
Of course, Pinnick was good for Pinnick as he still gets to keep his seat on the FIFA Council and CAF Executive Committee and that explained how he proudly turned out in his navy-blue FIFA suit on his send-off.
A short documentary got some of his lieutenants to sing his praise one last time for the cameras, but it was silent on his achievements because there was hardly much in that regard.
Pinnick hijacked the NFF Presidency for the past eight years only to serve his egoistical self.
He was a disaster for Nigeria Football that he had sworn on oath to serve with integrity and to the best of his abilities.
Besides the well-documented failures suffered by the various national teams during his Presidency, Pinnick enthroned corruption, chose to flangrantly abuse his office, the rule of law and fueled divisions among Stakeholders.
NFF Elections since 2014, when Pinnick first ran for the big office, has been awashed with US Dollars for votes and it was also the story this past week when his two Vice Presidents attempted to copy such bad example, but fortunately failed so, so miserably.
Outright treachery, vaulting ambition and vote-buying were the foot stools of the Pinnick Presidency and that translated to the monumental corruption that overtook the NFF in the last eight years.
By the last update, at least 30 Billion Naira was stolen by the NFF leadership between 2014 and 2022.
These are monies that would have gone a long way in developing Nigeria Football.
Rather what the NFF have to now grapple with is a huge debt of about two Billion Naira and the flight of major sponsors like Coca-Cola and Aiteo from the sport.
However, last week’s seizure of Shehu Dikko’s house in Abuja by the Federal Government via the anti-corruption agency ICPC has given hope that those who have plundered the commonwealth will face justice for this crime against the nation.
This is even after the “insane” amounts of money these officials paid time and again as bribe to compromise the judiciary, investigators of the anti-corruption agencies as well as influential politicians and Government officials.
The decadence this country has descended to is that one of the men who has been working assidiously for these officials to escape the long arm of the law is an Appeal Court Judge.
This is another test for the war against corruption by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Pinnick also violated the NFF Statutes variously, from the appointment of Chikelue Iloenyosi as Chairman of the Anambra FA to direct interferences in the affairs of other affiliates like Ondo FA, Rivers FA, getting appointees to head the various leagues and be on the Executive Committee as well as shutting out the players’ union PFAN from the Congress.
Under Pinnick, the NFF did not respect the rule of law, rather they saw themselves as above the law of the land, the FIFA Statutes superior to the Constituition of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The injunction by the Federal High Court Yenagoa was only respected because it suited Pinnick’s agenda to elongate his tenure for as long as was possible.
It would be recalled that a bench warrant had to be issued by the Federal High Court Abuja before Pinnick and his gang could come before it.
How many knew that the NFF Secretariat shut down from Wednesday, September 28, 2022, to ensure it did not have to receive any surprise court orders to stop the Elections?
NFF General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi now faces a Contempt of Court after he refused to recognise Sanusi Mahmoud Mohammed as the duly elected Chairman of the Taraba FA even after the Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo ruled so.
The court’s judgment was very clear that an appeal by Timothy Henman Magaji, who has been impersonating for the past three years as the Taraba FA Chairman, does not stop this recognition except he had upturned the main ruling.
Justice Simone Amobeda said but for the total mishandling of this matter by the NFF, his court would not have had any business with it.
Pinnick was equally the Divider-In-Chief of Nigeria Football.
He caused the divisions in the once-vibrant supporters club, the players’ union PFAN by creating a rival ANFPU as well as within his own Executive Committee so that they did not have the numbers to impeach or embarrass him.
These are records not to be proud of after eight years of the worst-ever NFF administration he headed.
Nigeria Football will not miss ‘Wafi boy’ Pinnick.