Uncertainty Over NFF Elections


The confusion and uncertainty that have plagued the nation’s football due to maladministration, crass incompetence and corruption are playing themselves out in terms of the elections into the executive board of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF. The elections, earlier scheduled for last Saturday, 21 August were shifted to tomorrow. And now no one knows if the polls would still hold, given the discordant tunes from the gladiators in the race for the NFF presidency and membership of the board.

Latest reports indicate that the stalemate that has trailed the elections may continue as ex-Eagles stars, among whom are those vying for various positions, staged a protest yesterday in Abuja to call for the postponement of the election. Their grouse is that the congress of the NFF ought to have called for state Football Associations’ elections before organising that of the executive board.  The other contentious issue is that the majority of the delegates that would vote in the elections are state FA chairmen whose tenures had long elapsed. That means the elections won’t be credible. Their reason for the protest is germane in the sense that it amounts to putting the cart before the horse for NFF to organise the executive board elections before those of the state FAs.

It is even curious that the sacked President of NFF, Sani Abdullahi Lulu is said to be calling the shots as to who emerges the next NFF President.

If the election is postponed again because of the protests and controversies that it has thrown up, then NFF should be ready for the dire consequences this will set off. The NFF must now be in a quagmire as the representatives of the Federation of International Football Association, FIFA, who are in Abuja to monitor the polls have warned against another postponement.

The shenanigans that have characterised the elections reflect the way we do things in virtually every facet of life in our nation. When mediocres and those who don’t have any business running our football hold sway, the result is what we keep getting all the time: Heart break for millions of Nigerians who love the game passionately. Isn’t it disheartening that those who have been killing the nation’s soccer for decades are the same people still running the show? We can’t get it right if we allow the barracudas at the helm of affairs continue to perpetuate themselves in power.

The NFF election is crucial in many respects, especially if its outcome eventually flushes out the cabal that is killing the game at the Glass House in Abuja. The election, whenever it is held, should produce the kind of leadership that will  bring about total overhault of the nation’s football and take it to the enviable height it was in 1994 before the rot set in.

The NFF leadership should stop killing football, which is the only thing that makes Nigerians happy. Millions of Nigerians who follow the game passionately are not happy about the failure of leadership at the Abuja Glass House. Round pegs must be put in round holes to achieve a meaningful development in the shortest possible time. The election should engender this much desired turnaround.

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