The unfolding drama surrounding the 2014 Elective Congress of the Nigeria Football Federation, originally scheduled for Tuesday, August 26 in Warri, has assumed an intriguing dimension that has seen the once strong and united body of Nigerian football torn into fragments.
Feelers from the Glass House, Abuja informed that the Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Dr Tammy Danagogo who had earlier directed that the congress be held in Kaduna, and not Warri which the NFF Executive Committee had approved, has again directed for yet another change of venue. This time, the Minister want the congress moved to Abuja and not Kaduna. The date, however, remains the same, Tuesday, August 26. Already, the minister has invited some of the delegates to Abuja, we were told.
As expected, the Minister’s directive has not gone down well with majority of delegates, as some of them are insisting on holding the congress in Warri, Delta State. Thirty out of the 44 delegates are insisting on Warri.
Chairman of NFF Technical Committee, Chris Green is one of those insisting on Warri. He gave his reasons. “We have to respect our regulations and rules so that we don’t become a laughing stock before FIFA and the comity of nations.”
Green said given the confusion that had visited Nigerian football of late and in order to allow for a credible elections to the executive committee, the NFF wrote to FIFA to allow them hold the congress and shift the elections to a later date
According to Green, FIFA replied and fixed a 2-week extension. “We don’t want inconsistencies that will make us look stupid before FIFA .” he said.”We will not command intergrity before the international community. Much as we respect our leaders and government, it is important for us not to mock our country before international bodies with our inconsistencies.”
Furthermore, Green said, apart from FIFA agreeing to the venue and date for the congress, the NFF had finalised all arrangements for the Congress to hold in Warri after a meeting with the Secretary to the fedaral Government last night.
The source said during the last NFF Congress which held in Warri, delegates paid a courtesy call to the Olu of Warri, one of the highest ranked royalties in the country, who told them to feel free to return to Warri any time they wished. The delegates agreed to return.
Both the Olu of Warri and the Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan had agreed and were ready to receive the delegates. It will therefore, be a wrong step, a slap in the faces of the Olu of Warri and the Governor to now change the venue in the last minute.”