By Jacob Ajom
Former Bauchi State FA chairman, Alhaji Gara Gombe, has called on the Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Isah Bio, to call the Nigeria Football Association to order in its conflict resolution mechanism which he viewed as oppressive and despotic.
Reacting to the on-going conflict between the football house and the executive chairman of the Delta State Sports Council, Pinnick Amaju, who doubles as the state FA chairman, Alhaji Gombe said the NFA must be stopped on its track before the best football administrators in the country were frustrated and silenced.
â€œI am calling on FIFA, the Federal Government, the National Assembly and the Sports Ministry to save us from the NFA who are armed with a statute used as a weapon against perceived enemies,â€ Gombe retorted, adding, â€œthe use the statute to coarse, intimidate, silence, frustrate and even threaten some of the finest football administrators we have in this country.â€
He recalled that past skirmishes with top football personalities had resulted in some of them keeping away from talking. Said he: â€œthey have threatened Odegbami, threatened Jaja, Nnaji, Adokiye and even my humble self. The latest casualty is Pinnick Amaju. For goodness sake, Delta State has contributed more than any other state to the development of sports, particularly football in this country and should not be treated with such levitude.â€
Gombe, who is a critic of the Sani Lulu Abdullahi-led NFA board recalled, â€œthis was the same NFF that forced a whole commissioner to apologise to them over a matter that was within his jurisdiction.
The combined contributions of Rivers and Delata states to sports development in this country cannot be quantified. We should give them some decorum.â€
He said that if the NFA felt offended by their actions or comments they should engage them constructively rather than resort to threats on the pages of newspapers.
He had a suggestion for the football house. â€œI will also like the NFF to review their dispute resolution mechanism and also review their strategy in responding to public opinion because the way they are handling things now cannot help them.â€