By Nkem Mgbolu
Last week we brought this piece on how to untangle Nigeria’s football from the web of crisis stifling it. Today we bring you the concluding part of the piece. Enjoy it.
The rules guiding participation in democratization of offices as contrived in the hurriedly adopted statute, was not made flexible to cater for the interests of all. Rather, it encourages cronyism, godfathers endorsement, and all manners of conducts that are antithetical to good conduct. Otherwise, State Football Association Chairmen, who have enjoyed one form of patronage or the other from a sitting president of the federation, will most certainly return him to office without opposition.
This is without consideration to the fact that the resources being expended on them belong to the government, which runs contrary to anti corruption laws.
In addition, the issue of fairness in the elections is another major challenge that has drawn the ire of people. We have seen instances where the chairman of the federation in the past, through the congress that owes their allegiance to him, handpicked the members of the electoral committee, who in turn superintends the elections.
In some cases, these are personal friends and acquaintances that are duty bound to do their biddings It is obvious that where there is no justice and fairness, anarchy will certainly reign.“My pains as an outstanding fan of the game is that the government remained silent in the face of the obvious collective assault on our national psych by false claimants to the throne, who contribute little or nothing towards the advancement of the game, since 2006 when the confusion enveloped our dear father land.
It is worthy to note that only lip service was paid in resolving the crisis, by successive Minister’s of Sport who have passed through the National Sports Commission, NSC. This apparently forced most bystanders to conclude that they may have inadvertently aided or stoked the fire for some selfish reasons. No doubt, silence is golden, but when prolonged it has the tendency to send the wrong signal.“The truth is that majority of them failed to understand the enormous power the Ministry wields in the affairs of Sports.
They are morally bound to ensure that the position of government on all issues is maintained at all times. They don’t have to wait on Mr President to attend to such; otherwise, there won’t be need for their existence. Thank God for the wise decision taken by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim in exhibiting the much needed political will to arrest the situation that has impacted negatively on the nation’s football, in close collaboration with the Sports Minister.
Whether the concessions made to Dr Sam Sam Jaja and his co-travellers negates FIFA statutes or not, the truth is that NFF is in breach of the laws of the land as found by the courts, and have taken steps to make amends. There is needed to go a step further by getting all the other combatants to the negotiating table. We all know the position Harrison Jalla and the National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF)“on this issue.
They have been on the trenches all along and cannot be ignored, Jarret Tenebe of the NFA, who educated us on the illegality or otherwise of the present set up cannot be overlooked for whatever reason, not forgetting Davidson Owunmi, the erstwhile chairman of Nigerian Premier League board, who was swept away by the contrived politics of the powers that be.“
Also, the case of Segun Odegbami before the court of arbitration in sports in Switzerland must be allowed to run its full course, since it is in line with FIFA statutes. Nonetheless, there is still“room for reconciliation, if the SGF could reach out to him. This is one man that has served this nation in virtually all capacity as a player of note, administrator par excellence, and talent hunter for youth category, through his football academy etc. The nation cannot afford to ignore him.
Finally, its pertinent to know that football is one of our most selling point and important image to the world, we cant afford to allow corruption, internal bickering and politics to ruin the gains of the past. Every genuine stakeholder must rise up to salvage the situation in order to make a better future for the game in the county.
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