By John Egbokhan
The Honourable Minister of Sports and Chairman, National Sports Commission, Dr. Tammy Danagogo has insisted that the General Assembly of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), where elections into the Executive Committee of the football-ruling body are to hold must take place on August 26 in Warri, Delta State.
Danogogo’s submission yesterday came a day after the Aminu Maigari-led Executive Committee had said that elections would not hold at the Congress. The board said that it has informed FIFA of its intention.
But the Chairman of the NFF Electoral Committee, Anoni Bambo rejected NFF\s proposal to shift the polls, insisting that the elections must hold as scheduled on August 26.
But the Secretary-General of the NFF, Musa Amadu, quickly moved to discountenance the Electoral Committee stance, stating that “the statement must have been made in error. As far as the NFF is concerned, there will be no elections at the General Assembly of Tuesday, 26th August. There is a proposal that we are taking to the General Assembly (the supreme body of Nigeria football) for consideration and approval, with regards to the elections.
“It is for the NFF and the General Assembly to propose the date for elections, not that of the Electoral Committee, which was put in place by the General Assembly,” NFF General Secretary, Barr. Musa Amadu had said on Thursday.
And wielding into the issue yesterday, the Minister of Sports has called on the NFF board to respect FIFA’s letter of August 14, where FIFA clearly said that elections must hold on August 26.
In a statement released in Abuja, Danagogo, while wishing delegates a successful Congress, said ‘taking into cognizance, the resolutions reached in his meetings with the Maigari-led faction and the Umeh-led faction of the NFF and the advisory letter from FIFA, dated 14 August 2014, which stated inter alia that, “it is advisable that major decisions are frozen until after the elections of 26 August”, it is clear that nothing has happened to alter that position”.
While urging those barred from contesting the elections to seek redress through the appropriate channel of the Elections Appeal committee, Danagogo tasked all interested and aggrieved stakeholders to set aside their personal differences in the interest of the development of the game in the country.
“That all parties, who were genuinely interested in participating in the NFF elections and felt disenfranchised ought to file their complaints and seek redress through available channels including the Elections Appeals Committee. It is time for all parties to put aside their personal ambitions and promote the corporate good of Nigerian Football.
“The Honourable Minister is looking forward to a cordial and prosperous working relationship with the board that will be inaugurated after the elections of 26 August 2014, in Abuja to take Football in Nigeria to greater heights”, the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, the Sport Minister, we gathered, last night, moved to change the venue of the Congress to Kaduna. When Warri hosted the last Congress, the Olu of Warri, in welcoming the delegates, told them they were always free to return to return to the City and that he would always mobilise support from government and people of the State for them. Excited, NFF decided to return to Warri and even notified FIFA so.
Delegates described their Congress in Warri as the best ever and were happy that they would return to the oil city. The Minister may change all that now. We also gathered that Maigari was told that for peace to reign he should not contest again. If was not clear if he agreed to that but indications pointed to his likely consent.