In search of salvation for Glasshouse

By Ikenna Okonkwo on 21/07/2018

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Abandoned Sunday Dankaro House which the new NFF President, Chris Giwa has signaled the country's football headquarters will soon relocate to.

Football loving Nigerians have been grappling with ‘tsunami-like’ pronouncement which automatically brought sudden change in the leadership architecture of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

To those who understand the workings of Nigeria’s football, it didn’t come so sudden. In fact, the emergence of a new executive board led by Ambassador Chris Giwa and saddled with the responsibility to steer the soccer ship of the country was long expected, right from 2014, after two elections produced different personalities laying claim to Glasshouse, headquarters of NFF in Abuja.

Various court hierarchies – High, Appeal and Supreme Courts have been inundated with the big task of taking vital decision on the issues relating to – which group between Amaju Pinnick and Chris Giwa is the authentic occupier of popular Glasshouse? The answer to this seemed too long; eventually it came much later – weeks before the ongoing World Cup hostilities began in Russia but there were certain confusion which followed it.

The uncertainties which surrounded the somewhat verdict passed by Supreme Court after all referred the entire parties involved in the NFF election matter to the judgement delivered by the High Court, some three years ago. However, the current NFF’s helmsman and his board stayed action as long as resuming duties is concerned and preferred to fold their arms and allow Pinnick’s board prosecute Super Eagles’ quest at this year’s mundial.

Less than two weeks after shocking or likely ouster of the country’s senior Men National team –depending on your estimation before 2018 global soccer contest kicked off, Minster of Youth and Sports Development Solomon Dalung apparently following instruction from the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Justice Abubakar Malami to carry out Supreme Court directive. His own words conveyed through his Media Aide exactly on Monday, July 2 2018, read, ““I have been directed to notify you of the Orders dated June 5th 2018 made by Honorable Justice M. H. Kurya sitting at the Federal High Court Jos in respect of the above mentioned suit between Yahaya Adama Vs Alhaji Aminu Maigari which states that the election of the NFF held on August 26, 2014 under the leadership of Amb Chris Giwa be given recognition pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed in this case and that the purported ban of the Executive Committee elected on August 26, 2014 from football activities of the NFF is unconstitutional, null and void,” the statement reads.

“It is trite law that court orders are sacrosanct and any act of disobedience to it constitutes threat to the rule of law. Consequent upon the above, you are hereby advised to comply with the orders of court made therein which for now, is the valid and binding order of court, in the absence of any other subsisting order or judgment to the contrary.”

“This is a court order and not from Dalung. I will not want to go to Kuje prison because of disobedience of court orders. Therefore, I hereby comply with the court orders of June 5th 2018, while Mr Amaju Pinnick and others are also directed to comply with same.”

Indeed, interesting times are here again with barely three months to go ahead of another proposed election into the executive board of NFF. How times fly.  Between 2014 and 2018, four sweeping years which is the exact term given to any football federation’s term to perform have passed. And a repeat of history has not ceased. Like I drummed it last week, no President in nearly two decades has succeeded in serving out his tenure, talk more of securing a fresh tenure within Nigerian football fraternity.

Yours sincerely was spot on last week when he predicted that the situation was likely to be the same with the Delta-born Pinnick who was just appointed as 1st vice President of Confederation of African Football (CAF). Congratulations to you. But like the Igbo would put it, A galacha’ must come back, meaning no matter what, one who left his home front, will be back someday. Like the President of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Rafiu Ladipo said it earlier, “Your soccer sojourn in both the continent and globally has been fruitful to mainly you, and not Nigerian football in its entirety.

Of course, whatever goes up must come down, so says constant law of physical motion. Immediate past CAF vice President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, former Ghana Football Federation can tell better now after what suddenly hit and ejected him from his exalted positions few weeks back. Call it a set-up or quest for more on the side of erstwhile CAF man, Ghana’s Nyantakyi undoubtedly crashed and the rest has become a thing of the past.

Rewind back, you will recall that exactly this time around in 2010, particularly on July 10, destined-Pinnick  was among 84 congress men and women (if any) who moved and stamped forceful removal of the then President of NFF, Alhaji Sani Lulu from office without any recourse to much talked-about FIFA hammer. In fact, the former Delta state football association leader, Pinnick stood out as the chairman of communiqué drafting committee.

Few years down the line, he is mostly in position to reap similar onslaught. The only difference is that whilst congress got Lulu out, the apex court in Nigeria activated gradual exit of now embattled Melvin. The drama is still unfolding. Much will still happen within and outside. In any case, Stakeholders are of the view that even if World football governing body decides to impose ban on Africa’s most populated Nation, it would only provide ample opportunity for many things to be put right for Nigerian football. Die-hard Nigerian football lovers are tired of watching their darling Super Eagles with their hearts in their mouths. They are tired of back-to-back non-qualification of Nigeria to African Cup of Nations and shambolic World Cup outing.

They are fared up of one step forward and many steps back in the country’s football leagues. Leagues, where Referees are used as sledge hammer on clubs that fail to comply with the powers that be. Leagues with winners already known or decided even before kick-off. Leagues (Nigeria National league and Nigeria Nation-wide league) that are cash-strapped with payment of match indemnities, a big deal. Fans are equally weary of Nigerian football where they can’t access jerseys of National teams with the price of each kit ranging between N35, 000 and N40, 000. Even the officials of NFF resort to buying NIKE kits suppossedly under sponsorship contract with the federation. SHAME!

Even invited players to camps –under 17, 20 and 23 (male and female) teams have to either provide themselves with personal wears or at most wash and wear (makeshift) option which have to be purchased by officials of the country’s football body anytime training site opens or resumes. Now Giwa-led NFF has bulky task at hand to accomplish. Stand up and let posterity vindicate you!

Many troubles of Glasshouse


Source Whirlwindnews

Posted on July, 21 2018

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