By Victor Kanayo
Despite directive by the Nigerian Government, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is insisting that its scheduled election for the presidential positions and executive board must go ahead on Friday September 30, 2022.
This is after the country’s football body secured an Appeal against an earlier injunction which barred the election from taking place.
A statement from NFF, made available to Heritage Times HT on Thursday reads, “The 78th Annual General Assembly of the Nigeria Football Federation will hold on Friday in Benin City, capital of Edo State alongside elections of a new Executive Committee to steer the affairs of the nation’s supreme football –ruling body for the next four years.
“A ruling by the Court of Appeal on Thursday morning ordered a stay-of-execution of an ex parte injunction secured by some fellows a fortnight ago to stop the elections, meaning that the coast is now clear for an interesting contest for the NFF presidency by 10 prominent individuals and dozen other notable persons jostling for seats on the Executive Committee.
“More representatives of the world football-governing body, FIFA arrived in Benin City just before noon on Thursday. Solomon Mudege, FIFA’s Head of Development Programmes for Africa and Gelson Fernandes, a former Swiss international player who is FIFA’s Director for Africa were in an excited mood.”
The Nigerian Government had earlier same day warned the NFF hierarchy not to go ahead with the proposed election.
Among the 10 persons jostling to succeed Amaju Melvin Pinnick as Nigeria football’s supremo are current vice presidents, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi (1st VP) and Mallam Shehu Dikko (2nd VP), as well as current Executive Committee Member and Chairman of Chairmen, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau and another current Executive Committee Member, Hon. Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande.
There is also an immediate past General Secretary, Barr. Musa Amadu, and Head of Safety and Security of the Confederation of African Football, Dr. Christian Emeruwa.
Also in the hunt for the exalted post are Chairman of the FCT Football Association, Mallam Adam Mouktar Mohammed; former Nigeria international goalkeeper, Peterside Idah; former Chairman of Kano Pillars FC and respected technocrat, Alhaji Abba Abdullahi Yola and; UK-based David-Buhari Doherty.
A former NFF 1st Vice President, Mazi Amanze Uchegbulam, pulled out of the race during the week.
Mr. Paul Yusuf from Plateau State was disqualified as a result of invalid nomination; the same axe that swept Mr. Marcellinus Anyanwu from Imo State out of the race.
Three persons, viz current Member of Board, Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu; current Member of Board, Senator Obinna Ogba and; Mr Chinedu Okoye will battle for the post of 1st Vice President.
Current Member of Board, Alhaji Yusuf Ahmed ‘Fresh’ will replace Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau as Chairman of Chairmen, as he was the only one who obtained the form, and has been cleared for, the position.
Contesting for seats on the Executive Committee from the South East are: Pastor Emeka Inyama (Abia State); Mr. Chikelue Iloenyosi (Anambra State); Mr Karibe Pascal Ojigwe (Abia State); Mr. Jude Benjamin Obikwelu (Anambra State) and; Sir Emmanuel Ochiagha (Imo State).
For North Central are Alhaji Mohammed Alkali (Nasarawa State); Rt. Hon. Margaret Icheen (Benue State); Hon. Idris Abdullahi Musa (Kwara State); Mr. Daniel Amokachi (Benue State) and; Mr. Benedict Akwuegbu (Plateau State).
Current Member of Board, Ms Aisha Falode tops the list of candidates from the South South region, with Chief Kenneth Nwaomucha (Delta State); Mr. Gregory Abang (Cross River State); Mr. Roland Abu Omomoh (Edo State); Barr. Poubeni Ogun (Bayelsa State); Mr Jarret Tenebe (Edo State) and; Rt. Hon. Essien Udofot (Akwa Ibom State) also vying for seats from that zone.
Current Member of Board, Alhaji Ganiyu Majekodunmi leads the list of contestants for seats from the South West, with Otunba Sunday Dele-Ajayi (Ondo State); Mr. Ayodeji Ogunjobi (Osun State); Alhaji Olawale Gafar Liameed (Lagos State); Mr. Afolabi Taiwo Olugbenga (Osun State); Mr. Ayodeji Adegbenro (Ondo State) and Barr. Pelumi Jacob Olajengbesi (Osun State) also in the race.
North East candidates are current Member of Board, Alhaji Babagana Kalli (Borno State); Barr. Sajo Mohammed (Adamawa State) and; Mr. Timothy Henman Magaji (Taraba State).
Current Member of Board, Alhaji Sharif Rabiu Inuwa (Kano State) is the only candidate from the North West.