As Owumi, Baribote, Akinbobola go for the ultimate
On Tuesday, May 4 an Abuja high court presided over by Justice Okolo Arowolo vacated an order against Dr Sam Sam Jajaâ€™s case that had stalled the planned NPL elections. The case had dragged on for sometime now resulting in a stalemate.
The court decision was received as a welcome development as contestants are already gearing up for the elections.
The immediate past chairman of the NPL, Chief Onyuiki Obaseki has hailed the court order, saying it was bound to have a positive effect on the league and the overall development of the beautiful game in the country.
Obaseki who is eager to see who succeeds him has appealed to the chairmanship candidate, Sam Sam Jaja to â€œbury the hatchetâ€ so that the election can go on.
But in what appears like a hide and seek game, the litigant, Jaja was quoted as saying that he was not aware of the development. He would not talk because in his own words, â€œI cannot react to what I am not aware of.â€
With the coast now clear, the NPL has already fixed today for the zonal and chairmanship elections.
The three gladiators for the chairmanship elections are holding consultation with their various camps, reaching out to different groups with a view to wooing delegates who would be coming from the zones.
Top on the list of contestants for the hot seat vacated by Obaseki is Davidson Owumi, the former chief executive officer of Rangers International Football Club of Enugu.
As a former player, Owumi enjoys a lot of popularity among his colleagues(ex footballers) who are bent on taking the reins of power from the present crop of managers of football in the country. Apart from his exploits as a player, Owumi has grown into an astute administrator, has been on the board of the Nigeria Football League and until now, occupied the enviable position of chairman of chairmen.
The Delta-born former international has never hidden his intention to lead the charge for a new face for Nigerian football.
Rumson Victor Baribote is chairman of Bayelsa United FC and is one of the candidates for the exalted seat of the chairman of NPL. Despite his youthful looks, he has no doubt paid his dues as a football administrator.
Baribote led Bayelsa United to the league crown last season and is regarded as the chosen one by the upper house (NFA) ofÂ Nigerian football. His romance with the powers that be, we learnt, gives him a lot of confidence as he goes into this battle of the survival of the fittest.
The other candidate for the chairmanship is no other than the Special Assistant on sports to Governor Segun Mimiko of Ondo state, Akin Akinbobola. He was former team manager of Sunshine Stars of Akure and his ability to keep the club in the elite class of Nigerian football is one of his credentials. He stands a good chance like any other candidate but feelers from the field point to a two-horse race as the odds seem to favour Owumi and Baribote