Delta State-born soccer technocrat and administrator, Melvin Amaju Pinnick on Thursday defied all odds to break a longstanding jinx, in becoming the first man to be re-elected as president of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
In yesterday’s NFF executive committee election, which was widely preceded by threats of annulment by court rulings and apathy from the sports minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung, Pinnick won 34 votes to beat three other contestants.
Former NFF president, Alhaji Aminu Magari got eight votes, ex-general-secretary, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi got two votes and Honourable Chinedu Okoye did not have any vote.
In all, 44 delegates from states football federation and other bodies including coaches, referees associations and players unions, participated in the election which took place in Katsina.
The chairman of the Electoral committee for the election, Muhammed Katu announced results of the election, to which FIFA representatives, Luca Piazza and Solomon Mudege were among football chiefs who witnessed the process.
In his acceptance speech, Pinnick specifically thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Chief of Staff to the President, the DG, Department of State Services and the Inspector General of Police for their tremendous support for the board.
“We respectfully ask for more support as we start a new tenure, during which we aim to consolidate on our vision of building a sustainable football culture for our dear country, and continue the great march towards ensuring financial independence for the NFF.
“We owe this country a lot, and we are committed to working hard to give back so much to it. We intend to set up a reconciliation team in a few days to reach out to aggrieved members of the football family with a view to bringing everyone under one umbrella for the purpose of a united front in the pursuit of the greater good for Nigerian Football.”