Abuja – Some sports enthusiasts on Friday in Abuja said the impeachment of Aminu Maigari as the Chairman of Nigeria Football Association (NFA) was a welcome development.
The NFA board had on July 24 accused Maigari of financial maladministration and misapplication, and subsequently impeached him.
The association’s First Vice-Chairman, Mike Umeh, was consequently mandated to preside over the affairs of the NFA pending the composition of a new board after their forthcoming Aug. 26 elections.
In reaction to the development, the sports enthusiasts said in separate interviews that corruption should be effectively tackled if the NFA was to take the country’s football to greater heights.
Kola Daniel, a sports broadcaster, said it was high time embezzlement and misapplication of funds were treated as serious offences.
“When the level of financial misappropriation is revealed, it must not be treated with levity and I am indeed pleased with the recent development in the Glass House.
“It is alarming to hear that some group of people have formed a cartel to rape our football to its last breath with impunity.
“We have not heard the last of this matter yet as more secrets of their shenanigans will be revealed as the days go by,’’ he said.
Godwin Bamigboye, the Chairman of Nigeria Football Coaches Association (NFCA), FCT Chapter, said everyone found wanting must be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others.
“We need to take the necessary steps to get it right for once in the NFA as Nigerian football is in dire need of professionalism,’’ he said.
Mansur Abdullahi, the Secretary, Organising and Disciplinary Committee, FCT Football Association, said the move by the NFA board was a sign of better things ahead for Nigerian football.
“It was obvious that the Aminu Maigari-led administration got drunk from the chalice it brewed.
“For me, I think it was not just the Chairman that should go, but the whole board should go also. This is because there is no way that they (all the other board members) will be innocent of the same crime,’’ he said.
Taofeek Lawal, a sports analyst, told NAN that it was worrisome that it had become a practice in the NFA for those who take over the helm of affairs to see it as an avenue to enrich themselves.
“I recall that Sani Lulu (the NFA Chairman from 2006 to 2010) was also allegedly impeached on the basis of the same offences in 2010.
“All those who helped to ease out Lulu and called Maigari to come and take the NFA chairmanship were effectively shut out by Maigari,” he said.
Bala Shehu, the Head Coach of Adamawa United Football Club of Yola, said the move was a step in the right direction.
He told NAN that Maigari’s administration should be made to account for all the monies it collected during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
“ Nigeria, through the NFA, got eight million dollars for participating in the group stages of the World Cup, just like the other 31 participating teams.
“This is aside from the 1.5 million dollars initially given to the NFA to prepare the team for the competition.
“For getting to the Round of 16 they also raked in another 9 million dollars. So, Maigari must be able to tell Nigerians how these monies were spent,’’ the coach claimed.
He however said he never had any blames for the Super Eagles players who asked to be paid their bonuses.
Shehu said it was embarrassing that NFA had to hold meetings with the players over matters of bonuses during the competition.
“ In the past, when the players weren’t aware of their rights, the NFA used to collect such monies from FIFA after the World Cup and then deny receipt of it.
“This is not going to be any more. Times have changed and everyone is more enlightened, including FIFA who now knows how corrupt some of the Football Associations are,’’ he said.(NAN)