By Mukwuzi Joseph
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) to immediately commence the process that will lead to elections into its executive committee at the expiration of the current administration in September.
Buhari also directed that the instrument of football administration in the country, the NFF Statutes, be amended to include other stakeholders, who had hitherto been disenfranchised or denied equal representation in the NFF congress.
In a letter addressed to NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, dated June 17, 2022, and signed by Youth and Sports Development Minister, Sunday Dare, Buhari, who reinforced the Federal Government’s support for football development in the country, urged the leadership of the NFF to ensure that the amended statutes reflect the national yearnings, aspirations, and peculiarities of Nigeria as a sovereign nation while aligning with the principles and objectives of football as set by the world soccer governing body, FIFA.
Meanwhile, a former chairman of the Gombe State Football Association, Alhaji Ahmed Shuaibu Gara Gombe, has appealed to interested persons eyeing the NFF presidency in the September elections to exercise restraint.
About five aspirants, comprising one administrator and former Nigeria internationals, have so far indicated an interest in the NFF top job.
“I think it is rather too early for such declaration to be made by anyone yet. There is the issue of the statute that has not been sorted while the NFF Congress will still have to seat and draw out the electoral guidelines as well as announce the election date,” he said.
According to Gara Gombe, “Whatever anyone is doing at this time with regard to the election is hasty and it cannot amount to anything tangible at least for now.”
There are reports that the former Gombe FA chairman has been encouraged by some football stakeholders, including politicians, civil servants, diplomats, and key figures in Corporate Nigeria to declare interest in the NFF top job.