PRESIDENT Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has a lot of time to waste contrary to speculations that running the country was a demanding affair that left the President with hardly any time to spare.
What was he doing meeting with officials of the Nigeria Football Association over the now rescinded ban on Nigeria â€˜s participation in international football? What was so important about the issue that a government that is grappling with excruciating economic issues would get involved in a frivolity?
It is difficult to say which was worse, the decision to announce the ban without standing by it, or meeting with a group whose only claim to fame is the damage it keeps doing to sports in general, with football being the one that sticks out because people worship the game.
There were sound grounds to withdraw from international football, but we never knew government was bereft of ideas on how to rein in football officials who consistently refused to account for their actions. It had to generate this storm to make them law abiding, an admission of the lawlessness that pervades and the ineptitude of government in combating them.
Shameless members of the NFA Board, in keeping with its derisory standards, did not resign. They did not see their greed, and the effect of their incompetence on our football. Their insatiable appetite for doing things wrongly has not diminished yet they want to remain in office.
In a flash of imaginative survival instinct, they discovered that some of their officials were corrupt, high handed and made unilateral decisions. Were alleged financial crimes committed last week? Who knew about them and kept quiet?
NFA board members impeached the same people before whom they grovelled only days ago in South Africa .
Government says that it was returning to international football because the mess in football had gone with the removal of four NFA board members. How uninformed can government be about even the most obvious issues? To add to the insult, some are applauding government for taking decisions in a huff, and then waiting for us to beg it to think which it should have done earlier.
Does government not know about the illegality of the NFA that was elected by State Football Associations that run foul of the provisions of Article 21 (5) of the NFA Statutes?
Article 21 (5) provides that, â€œState Executive Committee: a) Each State Football Association shall be composed of twelve (12) persons, four (4) elected from each senatorial district made up as follows: Chairman, 2 Vice Chairmen, 9 Ordinary Members b) All the above officers shall be elected at the Annual General Assembly of the State Football Associationâ€.
Would impeachment of the infamous four appease the bruised provisions of Article 21 (5)? These provisions have been violated in much the same way that the NFA has applied itself to recklessness.
Last year, it pulled out of hosting the FIFA U_17 World Cup and within days it was back. The case then was allegation that the eventâ€™s budget was bloated.
The present change of mind has destroyed any chance of profound solutions to challenges our football faces. Government has joined the enemies of the game in extending its underdevelopment.