By Patrick Omorodion
If Amanze UchegbulamÂ Â Â is bold enough let him take me to court, Iâ€™ll meet him there and I swear Iâ€™ll strip him â€˜nakedâ€™ and his wife will divorce himâ€, was the statement of Alhaji Ahmed Gara-Gombe, former Gombe State Football Association chairman on learing that Uchegbulam wants to sue him for accusing him (Uchegbulam) of challenging President Yarâ€™Adua on the Task Force.
According to Alhaji Gara-Gombe, he had queried the wisdom in Uchegbulam, First Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), challenging the decision of the president in setting up the Presidential Task Force on the Super Eagles qualification for the 2010 World Cup as well as stating his (Uchegbulamâ€™s) role in the ousting of Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima as NFA chairman.
â€œIâ€™m not bothered about Uchegbulamâ€™s law suit even if it involves the NFF. Iâ€™m waiting for him at the law court and by the time I strip him naked, his wife will divorce him,â€ the secretary of the stakeholders forum which masterminded the removal of the Galadima NFA Board said.
Continuing, Gara-Gombe said that â€œIâ€™ll tell Nigerians so many things they donâ€™t know about Uchegbulam. Nigerian courts are not owned by Uchegbulam, neither are the courts NFF Board room, if he doesnâ€™t take me to court, Iâ€™ll take him there.â€
He reiterated his earlier position on the setting up of the Task Force, stressing that â€œPresident Yarâ€™Adua took all precautions in establishing the Task Force. What he did was not interference as Uchegbulam claims but intervention and if people like Uchegbulam are not schooled enough to understand the difference between interference and intervention, he should go back to school.â€
The former chairman of Gombe Football Club said that the fact that Uchegbulam is criticising the Task Force which is boss, Sani Abdullahi Lulu is a member shows that the NFF boss is â€œtruly weak, it shows that it is what Uchegbulam wants that happens in the NFF. If Uchegbulam differs with the Task Force, the right thing for him to do is to discuss it with his boss and not go public.â€
He also said he has proofs on the roles Uchegbulam played in the stakeholders forum which led to the sacking of many state FA chairmen who supported Galadima during the fight to oust his Board, adding â€œI have witnesses, about 20 people who are ready to support and testify in court.
Uchegbulam and credibility are north and south pole, heâ€™s not supposed to be anywhere near the running of football in this country.â€
He accused the NFF vice chairman of being among the top shots of the NFF who are yet to account for the missing $236,000 belonging to the federation and said that instead of preparing the Golden Eaglets for the U-17 World Cup the country would be hosting later in the year, â€œthey all have taken positions in the LOC.â€
On Uchegbulamâ€™s claim that he is seeking relevance and cheap publicity, Gara-Gombe said that he has better credentials in sports and football than the Imo-born administrator, listing a lot of positions he has held in the past including the chairman of the Gombe state FA.
â€œIâ€™m the youngest match commissioner to commission a match in Africa at 28 years, I was vice chairman of a committee that produced the blueprint for the take-off of the premier league. I still sponsor and organise competitions in football. Let Uchegbulam tell Nigerians his antecedent in football before he became vice chairman of the NFF.
He should also tell us his account balance before he became NFF vice chairman. In fact Iâ€™m calling on the Code of Conduct Bureau and the EFCC to investigate him,â€ Gara-Gombe said.