On these pages, Saturday Vanguard sports carried out a campaign to cleanse our sports, especially football that is stronger than religion, that gives Nigerians so much joy, which they are so passionate about to the extent of forgetting that dividends of democracy are yet to reach them, 11 years after they put their hope in Chief Olusegun Obasanjo when the military finally agreed to return to the barracks.
From Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, Rev Moses Iloh, Dan Ngerem, Elder Bode Oyewole, Adokie Amiesimaka, Richard Obienu, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde some others we canâ€™t remember now, they all added their voice to the campaign.
The men who occupy the NFA Glass House at the nationâ€™s expense, who believe they are untouchables because of the myth of FIFA hammer falling on the country would not listen but instead called us and these honourable men unprintable names.
Limiting ourselves to only the month of June, 2010 when the World Cup started, we at Saturday Vanguard sports decided to take our campaign to the doorstep of the presidency and thank God that unlike Chief Obasanjo, we now have a listening president in Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
Here are proofs of our service to our country, that football should be saved from the stranglehold of Sani Lulu Abdullahi, Amanze Uchegbulam, Taiwo Ogunjobi and Bolaji Ojo-Oba, the four musketeers who believe that football begins and ends with them, especially with the false belief of protection from their godfather.
A week to the start of the World Cup, June 5 when we scooped the formation of 14 sub-committees by the NFA when the country was not the host of the event, we wrote begging that â€œPresident Jonathan should block this NFAâ€™s channel of waste.
We followed this with â€œ Football: Is Amos Adamu greater than Nigeria with a sub-title plans to â€˜pocketâ€™ President Jonathan. This was in reaction to Adamuâ€™s move to ensure a return of the Lulu Board at the August election by blocking all negative mails on the NFA meant for the president, using his Chief of Staff, Chief Mike Oghiadohme.
Lulu was alleged to report the sports minister to FIFA citing interference when he (Alhaji Ibrahim Bio) advised the NFA to stop all election campaigns in South Africa to focus on the Eagles and their World Cup campaign.
After the Eagles crashed out and the NFA showed no regret over the woeful failure but instead called the PTF to render an account of the money it raised for the World Cup campaign, not minding that it had not done so itself and that the PTF doesnâ€™t report to it but the presidency, we called on the minister thus: World Cup: Bio, now is time to audit NFA accounts.
If the president was not a listening type, these campaigns would have been waved aside but we would have been satisfied that we did not keep quiet when our football was being â€˜killedâ€™. Thank God for a listening president.