The battle for the Nigeria Football Federation presidency will be fought by football gladiators following the release of the list of candidates seeking to contest for positions in the Executive Committee of the body on 20th September in Katsina.
Among the candidates vying for the president of the NFF includes the incumbent, Amaju Pinnick, who is also the 1st Vice President of CAF and member of the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions.
Also contesting for the position is Aminu Maigari, immediate past President of the NFF, who was for several years Chairman of the Bauchi State Football Association.
Maigari also headed the Bauchi sub –seat for the FIFA U17 World Cup that Nigeria hosted nine years ago.
Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, former Nigerian Super Eagles defender, also has his hat in the ring.
Ogunjobi captained and managed one of Nigeria’s foremost football clubs, Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan.
He also served as Secretary General of then Nigeria Football Association (2002-2005) and was Member of the NFF Executive Committee 2006-2010. He is presently Chairman of the Osun State Football Association.
There is also Chinedu Okoye, proprietor of amateur league club, Bimo FC. He is practically an outsider in the race.
For the position of 1st Vice President, there are two candidates; the incumbent, Seyi Akinwunmi and another contender from the South West, Sunday Dele-Ajayi, who is on the Chris Giwa Board. The latter’s name may have been smuggled in to make the process look credible.
On that strength, it is as good as saying that there is no race for the position thus, Akinwunmi can be considered as having won the seat unopposed.
Incumbent Ibrahim Gusau will battle club proprietor, Ifeanyi Ubah for the slot of Chairman of Chairmen on the board.
For other positions on the Executive Committee, Sharif Rabiu Inuwa, a member of the present Board, is the only candidate from the North West. He wins the ticket automatically.
The battle in the North Central has been somewhat narrowed with the withdrawal of FCT FA chairman Musa Talle.
However, Ahmed Yusuf and Hon. Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande, ranking members of the Board, have to contend with Busari Ishola, Chairman of Kwara State FA.
Similarly, incumbents Babagana Kalli and Musa Duhu from the North East have to contend with Farouk Yarma Adamu.
In the South East, Chidi Ofor Okenwa (presently Chairman of the Nigeria National League), will vie with Enyimba FC chairman, Felix Anyansi-Agwu (ranking member of Board).
Others include, Jude Obikwelu (Vice Chairman, Anambra State FA); Emmanuel Ochiagha (Vice Chairman, Imo State FA) and Emeka Inyama (former Chairman of the NNL and former Chairman of NFF Marketing and Sponsorship committee and also Chairman of NPFL side Abia Warriors).
From the South West, only Ganiyu Majekodunmi, Chairman of Ogun State FA, is seeking an Executive Committee position. He qualifies automatically.
From the South South, Oswald Atuake from Cross River State is up against Emmanuel Ibah, chairman of the Akwa Ibom State FA. Barrister Chris Green used to hold that seat in the last board.
A member of the Sani Katu said “the elections into the NFF Executive Committee 2018-2022 would hold as scheduled on Thursday in the city of Katsina. FIFA is to send a top-ranking official as an observer of the elections.
Meanwhile, a fresh suit has been filed at the Federal High Court Abuja with number FHC/ABJ/CS/999/18 to stop the entire process.
National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF) is suing Mr Amaju Pinnick (for himself and his Executive Committee), Barrister Sani Katu (for himself and his electoral committee), Minister of Sports, the Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police for Katsina State.
The matter filed on Friday 14th September 2018 has not been allocated to a judge yet.
However,, the suit in court if and when the Orders are granted seeks two prayers from the court. One, an interlocutory Order restraining the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants for themselves, privies, agents or whatsoever from going ahead with the elective congress slated for 20th September in Katsina or any other Congress pending the determination of the Motion on Notice before the court.
Two, an Order on the IGP and the Katsina Police Commissioner for themselves, privies, agents or whatsoever from providing security to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants to conduct the election;
Issue is also that the NFF which had always operated over and above the laws of the land may as usual not obey the Orders of the court, go ahead and do whatever it will do. However, chances are that this Order, even when granted, may be spurned.