As calls intensify for timely conduct of next election into the executive board of the country’s football body, a former President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi, has described as “corrupt” the move by the NFF hierarchy to force post postponement of September 2022 elective Congress.
Alhaji Lulu who spoke in Abuja said recent intervention by the federal government calling for strict adherence was in the interest of Nigerian football development free of any rancour or future crisis.
The former NFF supremo, a foremost football stakeholder, and proprietor of a well-known FOSLA Academy who championed a sustained grassroots football development that led Nigeria to back-to-back victories globally with harvest of talents reckoned that Nigerian football can only move forward if those concerned make the right moves and take right decisions.
He also wondered why anyone with the right motives will fault instead of commend President Muhammadu Buhari-led government for saying that the NFF elective congress should be conducted in line with its statutes.
He said, “Why will anyone say the federal government is interfering? Is September not in the statutes of NFF as a period to conduct elective Congress?
“Instead of even thinking of interference, those concerned should thank President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare for intervening to avert crisis that usually plagued Nigeria during election year.
“Nigerians should be guided to know the truth and the onus lies with the media to sensitise the public to know what the statute of NFF says. The rules are clear. Anyone that will support extension of elective congress beyond September is corrupt.
“Between the Federal Government and anyone pushing for postponement of NFF election, who’s interfering? The government says stick to the statutes and the person wants it done outside the statutes. It’s time we tell ourselves the truth.”
On reports making rounds that the outgoing NFF President Amaju Pinnick is considering running a third term to retain his position, months after saying he won’t do so, another notable football stakeholder and former Adamawa United Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Zira, said, “It’s all about integrity, if I come out to say that I will not go to Lagos, you will hold me to that, it’s part of my integrity, it hampers on my integrity, I don’t believe that Amaju will decide to come for third term.
“If he does, I think he has betrayed his integrity, I don’t have anything against Amaju Pinnick being the President of Nigeria Football Federation, but if he has openly said he will not contest for the third term, I will say this is a man if his words. But if people deceive him and he makes u-turn and wants to come back then it means he is not a man of integrity any longer.
“It means that he is not a man of honour, so I believe and I think that he should come out and honour his integrity and keep to his honour, after all he has contributed the best he can to Nigerian football. Nobody can doubt that he has openly said he will not come back for third term, everybody should hold him to that, as far as I am concerned he had said he will not come back so he should leave it at that, and if he betrays his oath and come back, I’m telling you he will loose 99% of his respect irrespective of those that are calling him back for their own selfish reason, not because they want stability of Nigerian football, they are doing that for their own selfish gain.
“If I’m Amaju, immediately Nigeria failed to qualify for World cup, I would have just resigned, knowing fully well that I have gotten all the support I’m supposed to get, including the President of Nigeria being at the stadium that day to watch the match, the Minister for Youth and Sports at the stadium that day to watch the match. All that you needed was given to you that day, what else do you need?”