Not Yet the Day of Long Knives as NFF’s AGA Holds in Lagos Today

Not Yet the Day of Long Knives as NFF’s AGA Holds in Lagos Today

Duro Ikhazuagbe 

The 77th Annual General Assembly (AGA) of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) expected to consider a roadmap towards an Elective Congress to usher in a new administration for the federation is to hold in Lagos today.

It was earlier scheduled to holdDecember17 last year but for the unfortunate ex parteinjunction issued by a Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State following the filing of a suit by some football stakeholders.

Top on the agenda of the AGA is the matter of an elective congress that will lead to electing of new officers for the Executive Committee of the NFF at the expiration of the second term of the Amaju Pinnick second term on September 20.

However, before the matter of the election will come up, stakeholders in the country’s football are also seeking to expand the Congress beyond the 44-member that have monopolized the audacity of electing a new board of the NFF. 

They are made up of Chairmen and Secretaries of the 44 Members of the NFF (Football Associations of all the 36 States and the FCT; the Leagues; Coaches Association; Referees Association and the Players’ Union).

Despite the clamor, it remains doubtful if such a request will manifest today and become operational in line with the Statute of the NFF and the Electoral guideline.

Amongst the contenders for the top job of President of the NFF are, incumbent first Vice President, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi; former General Secretary, Barr.Musa Ahmadu; Chairman of Chairman & NFF Board member,  Alh. Ibrahim Gusau; 

Retired Sports Administrator and former Chairman of Kano Pillars FC who currently doubles as the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Youths & Sports, Alh Abba Abdullahi Yola; Top CAF Executive and member of the FIFA Safety and Security Committee, Dr Christian Emeruwa; Former Super Eagles Players , Peterside Idah and Ben Akwuegbu; Former NFF board member and Chairman of Imo FA, Chief Amanze Uchegbulam; amongst several others.

Barely 24 hours to the AGA yesterday, two of the players’ association engaged in absurd drama of expulsion and counter-expulsion.

The Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) with Emmanuel Babayaro as Secretary General, Fires the first salvo, expelling the likes of Chikelue Iloenyosi, Patrick Pascal, Abdul Sule, and Dr Sanusi Mohammed who is general secretary of the NFF. Babayaro’s statement announced that they were expelled based on recommendations of the Disciplinary Committee  of the association dully endorsed by its NEC.

In swift move, the other splinter players’ union, All Nigeria Football Players Union (ANFPU) slammed a 10-year ban on Tijani Babangida, Austin Popo and others who run PFAN

ANFPU in a statement signed by its General Secretary, Olisa Onuchukwu and President Abdul Sule said the ban was a fallout of the group’s illegal activities that are inimical to Nigerian football.

ANFPU noted that PFAN is not a registered body recognized by the nation’s soccer governing body, NFF and even the sports ministry.

“This has informed the immediate ban of the likes of Austin Popo, Harrison Jalla, Emmanuel Babayaro, Edema Fuludu and Tijani Babangida from all football activities for 10 years. “

ANFPU stated that it would soon set up a committee that would probe the activities of the body and how they have been short-changing Nigerian ex internationals over the years.

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