How do we change this whole document which gives those who know nothing about football so much power, while keeping genuine people out of it?

The NFF Statute is a very exclusive document which keeps quality people out of the NFF. From the day they conceptualised it, the instance of Mr Fix it, it excluded people who could ventilate football, people who have ideas; people who can stand for truth; people who are not hungry. Instead they created a cabal that keeps men of substance, men of paunch, men of knowledge out of football. 

For me, the NFF Statute has not been domesticated as law here. They only use it to bamboozle people; government is not looking at what they are doing. They take money as NFA and spend it as NFF because in the Appropriation Bill it is known as NFA and not as NFF. In that way, they are subservient to and a paratatal of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, whether they like it or not.

In that position, there is room for horsetrading where at the end of the day, a willing minister will make concessions in return for certain things and then you have all kinds of charlatans, people who know next to nothing on the board. The premise from which they are coming, their constituencies are questionable. The state chairmen and secretaries are all government appointees; for God’s sake these are not stakeholders. So when you have an aggregate of people who are there with insincere purpose, faulty credentials and funny missions it amounts to confusion.

For me, we better return to NFA Decree of 2005 or they domesticate this NFF Statutes and expand it to accommodate other people.

If a man like Segun Odegbami, for instance, with all his credentials, tell me which constituency he is going to come from? You mentioned Peterside Idah, what constituency is he coming from? He is an ex-international, with a lot of ideas and so many things he would want to do, but from which constituency. He has been in South Africa and all that. It is a whole lot of things. We have a very big issue which must be thrashed out. The NFF needs to be interrogated and cleansed out.

How do we change this whole document which gives those who know nothing about football so much power, while keeping genuine people out of it?

My position is this, we have a congress which largely provides for a wider consultation. Interest groups like Sports Writers Association, Sports Businessmen, ex-internationals could articulate their views and channel them by going to the congress and lobby.

 For instance, the issue of Rohr, some people are saying it was wrong to sack Rohr; No, it should have been done since 2019. It is not those of us who said he should go should be held responsible. If Rohr had managed to qualify us for the World Cup, we will wast N15 billion crrying some non-football persons to Qatar.

orts Businessmen, ex-internationals could articulate their views and channel them by going to the congress and lobby. For instance, the issue of Rohr, some people are saying it was wrong to sack Rohr; No, it should have been done since 2019. It is not those of us who said he should go should be held responsible. If Rohr had managed to qualify us for the World Cup, we will wast N15 billion carrying some non-football persons to Qatar. So, to that extent, I am happy we didn’t qualify. So we need to get different interest groups especially Sports Writers Association of Nigeria and former professional footballers, the ex internationals should form themselves into solid groups and go to the congress.

Who is qualified to be at the congress?

Well, as it is now, the Statutes recommends only the state FA chairmen and secretaries all of whom a political appointees. So you know it’s a cartel/

Then it’s a big issue

It’s a monumental problem; very much a Nigerian problem. 

The same way thirty-something people are  rushing to collect presidential nomination forms. That is how it is bad for our football.

The election is coming up in September and we hear a lot of them want to return in the new board expected to emerge after the election while others are agitating for a total sweep of the old order for they have failed. Is this achievable? 

That is where the Sports Writers Association should come in. We are suppose to be the police of our sports. But many of us are PR Managers to all these useless people and we are writing what we are not supposed to. Look at what Shehu Dikko is doing to our football. He claims he is running a professional football league in this country; it is non-existent. Dikko has a group of northern delegates under him, Amaju has ceded the professional league to him, he makes money and gets his people to support him and Amaju Pinnick.

The ex-internationals you are banking on are divided as there are at least two players union.

The ex-internationals are divided some are chasing money everywhere instead of focusing on their immediate problems facing them. Then You have NANPF and all that. I just feel sorry. But I expect that the former footballers come together, fight their way to the Congress and let the sports media, for once, stand for truth.

Are we likely to see Dudu Orumen come up as a candidate for the NFF President?

No’ No. I was brought down by friends and part of the sports press as chairman of Edo State Sports Commission. Half my problems were caused by my constituency. I want to enjoy my retirement, please.

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