Fiery sports critic and former Chairman, Gombe State Football Association, Shuaibu Ahmed Gara Gombe, has explained why he would not support NFF President, Amaju Pinnick on his bid to get elected onto FIFA Council.
He said this while reacting to Tuesday’s tweet by Pinnick, who announced that he had been cleared by the FIFA Review Committee to seek a position on the FIFA Council at the forthcoming elections.
Gara, who recently resigned from NFF Reform Committee on integrity ground, clearly explained his many past dealings with Pinnick that didn’t end well, because Pinnick didn’t keep his word.
He stated: “This time around I will not support Amaju Pinnick. When he was contesting NFF Presidency, I supported him because I saw it as a tenure that could help Nigeria Football. After his election, he invited me to Warri and I was there with some other stakeholders.
“We agreed on a road map for better Nigerian football. Immediately he got there he abandoned the project, he started another thing entirely, listening to the wrong people. He became so desperate, and corruption and lack of accountability have been synonymous with his tenure.
“Again when he went for CAF Executive Committee, former Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung was initially against him, but Ifeanyi Ubah supported him and prevailed on Dalung to Support Pinnick.
“I met him by chance in Morroco during CAF Executive Committee meeting when I went to their hotel with a member of the Royal family he called my attention and said that we should not be fighting like brothers and my friend prevailed on me.I promised to support his tenure again in CAF. When he was there in CAF he became desperate and over ambitious and was kicked out.
“He appointed me a member of the NFF Reform Committee, I accepted the appointment so that genuine reform can happen. After the inauguration I réalised that it was not going to be a serious exercise because the committee was personalised, those who created the problems are in charge of the committee.I resigned. What happened after?. The committee report was thrown out, justifying the reason I resigned.
“Again, he came to beg me to reconcile him with Barrister Chris Green, which I did, but he never did any of those things they agreed with Green in my house.
“Amaju again wanted to contest CAF presidency, I said I would support him as a Nigerian, using the same sentiment people are parading now. I was called names, they said Amaju gave me money and all sorts of things. Amaju will never give you money and keep quiet.
“Again, I was invited to Abidjan for a meeting to work against Amaju’s candidature on CAF presidency I refused to go and told them I would never fight a fellow Nigerian against a foreigner no matter our differences at home. I informed Dr Sanusi about it and he told Amaju. I still have the air ticket sent to me.
“Amaju changed his mind about contesting CAF Presidency without telling me or most of us who believed in the Nigerian Project. I made some preliminary plans in Morocco for his tenure, which I did not even tell him. But his tenure has been characterised by corruption and lack of transparency and accountability.
“His closer ally Aisha Falode, whom Amaju illegally appointed as Chairperson of Nigeria Women’s Professional Football League took me to court and I was told he was aware. I am not afraid of facing Aisha and the entire NFF in court, but for Amaju to ask for my or our support is a mirage.
“Dr Sanusi is just wasting his time. Amaju cannot be trusted. Someone may ask who is Gara Gombe? Yes, I know who I am, but Amaju knows better who is Gara Gombe. Amaju is going to FIFA? Okay! Good! Let us see. But to ask for my support? Never!
“He must purge himself of deceitfulness and start being a man of his word. He lies a lot and cannot keep confidential matters away from the public,” he said.