The much talked about elections into the board of the Nigeria Premier League comes up on March 3rd 2010 and venue is the Conference Hall of Lamonde Hotel in Abuja.Â As usual, theÂ intrigues that has charactersizedÂ the process so far has been breath taking as candidates have maneuvered their way to ensuring that they secured the required mandate.
But securing the mandate has turned out to be a big politics and there is now a lot of horse trading between candidatesÂ from the same zone.
The guidelines for the electionsÂ have also made the forthcoming election more cumbersome as it seeks to erase some private ambitions and in the process have made the race more difficult for people with genuine interest.
Another intriguing aspect of the election is the battle to secure confirmation and endorsement from Premier League clubs in the zones. Unlike in the past, where candidates are expected to get endorsement from a Premier League club in their zone and can be confirmed by any Premier league club anywhere in the country. The new arrangement has seen candidates pitched against each other in their zones and it appears the battle has moved to the Congress where candidates may finally appear.
Take the South West for instance. Former Shooting Stars Sports Club boss Elder Bode Oyewole is not finding things easy in hisÂ zone. While Oyewole has secured the endorsement of 3SC of Ibadan, getting another Premier League team in the South West to confirm him is now a daunting task. Sunshine Stars of Akure which could have confirmed him, have endorsed another candidate- SA to the Ondo State Governor on Sports, Hon. Akin Akinbobola, Ogun State equally has a differentÂ game plan, one that will not benefit the former 3SC boss. Thus with only 3SC on his card, Oyewole now looks forward to the congress to secure his mandate.
South East candiadate General Okaro looked as if he was going to suffer a similar fate before he was confirmed during the week by Enyimba of Aba. Okaro a well respected sports administrator has the backing of Rangers FC. Candidates from the north appears to be enjoying a smoothÂ sail. None seem to have encountered the kind of politics in the South West.
As we speak, Oyewole,Â is looking ahead to the congress where he believesÂ he would emerge as the South West zonal representative. From all indications, the congress which is yet to get a date, will be the battle ground for the candidate.