Yesterday’s Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Congress, which was supposed to be a gathering that would chart a way forward for the sport in Nigeria, ended in commotion in Abuja as a majority of delegates walked out of the Chida Hotel venue.
The Congress, which was billed for 2pm, was delayed for hours after outgoing President Alhaji Aminu Maigari alongside the General Secretary, Musa Amadu were arrested by men of the Department of State Service (DSS), and whisked away, leaving some State Football Associations chairmen, who were delegates to the congress, to fume over the development. Defying threats by the security operatives to shoot them, the state chairmen marched to the SSS office in solidarity with Maigari.
Declaring the congress open at around 6.10pm, the Minister of Sports, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, pleaded with all stakeholders to bury their differences for the good of the game, pointing out that football is supposed to unite and not disunite.
The minister also frowned at the decision of the Maigari-led faction to renege on an earlier agreement to follow the new roadmap for the 2014 elections into the NFF Executive Committee.
On his departure for another engagement, the Congress, led by Acting President Chief Mike Umeh, asked the media out in order for the business of the day to commence and that was when the trouble began with some delegates insisting on elections, although September 4 had been agreed at the last meeting which was presided over by Anyim Pius Anyim, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Thereafter, a majority of the board members and delegates, including NFF Secretary General Musa Amadu, walked out of the venue in protest before convening another meeting at Bolton Hotels late in the night to discuss the situation.
Those who remained at Chida Hotel and who were bent on holding an election did hold one, and Christopher Giwa, the Proprietor of Giwa FC of Jos, emerged as “President.” It should be noted that absent at that event were some NFF board members and a majority of the state football association chairmen, who comprise the Electoral College.
Giwa was said to have defeated former Vice President Mike Umeh 27-2 in that “election,” but others described the event as a sham as the legal quorum was not met, and the Secretary General, who takes notes on behalf of FIFA was absent.
The September 4 election is scheduled to hold in Calabar