AN OPEN LETTER TO AMAJU PINNICK
The Nigeria football federation is football highest decision making body in Nigeria. It is statutorily recognized and empowered by law to run and administer football in Nigeria. Never the less, it is one of the affiliates member of FIFA (global football decision making body) .
However , since its formation in 1945, it has had so many chairmen, sole administrators and /or President –as name change at a certain point in time, equally necessitated change in designation of the apex position of the football ruling body.
Indeed, following its change of nomenclature from NFA to NFF over a decade ago, the official designation of the leader changes from chairman to president ,and to this end , the NFF has produced succeeding presidents that had piloted its affairs since then .
Well, it is interesting to note that, that every one who occupied the office either as a chairman, or president relies heavily on subvention or vote from government to run its programs and such over reliance on government for financial assistance, has therefore aggregates so much power and influence to the government who now exercise so much authority on the NFF by frequently interrupting and overruling some of NFF,s decisions. Little wonder they say that it is he that pays the piper that dictates the tune.
From the foregoing, it is obvious that erstwhile NFF’s presidents; Alhaji . Ibrahim Galadima , sanni lulu and Ahmed Maigari have had their own share of government interference . But the present tenure of Melvin Amaju Pinnick as brought so more hope that NFF cannot be overly dependent on government for survival.
Before the emergence of this delta born (Amaju Pinnick) football administrator as the president of NFF in September 2014, he had performed magic with the Delta state sports commission by putting in place attractive sports properties that attracted corporate sponsorship to the commission. He assumed leadership of the NFF based on his impressive resume of land mark achievements of breaking barriers and exploring new frontiers in sports marketing and sponsorship. He ran a transparent commission that endeared him to stake holders of the Delta state sports fraternity, and to sponsoring companies.
This piece is not to eulogize the qualities of Amaju Pinnick , but one interesting thing he’s been able to do is to keeping his electioneering promise of transforming the NFF and making It’s to be financially dependent. Indeed, he has matched actions with words by running a transparent NFF – and this has attracted corporate sponsorship , who now see the football body as a viable sporting property to invest in. An energy group, Aiteo is the major sponsor of the NFF. The Nigeria Breweries is not to be left out as they have signed a 5 year sponsorship deal with the NFF as one of its tittle sponsors. In fact, more and more multinational companies are indicating interest to invest in the super Eagles , which is fast becoming an attractive marketing brand.
SETTING UP OF COMMITTIES
The leadership of the NFF under the stewardship of the Amaju Pinnick, has recently set up the Audit and technical study group committees. The setting up of these committee is o in line with global best practices, and the objective behind this is part of the cardinal plans of Amaju’s tenure and it is bound to reap bountiful dividends in due time.
SERIES OF LITIGATIONS
It is apparent that Amaju pinnick tenure as NFF president was blighted by series of litigations from MR .CHRIS GIWA (the erstwhile proprietor OF GIWA F.C OF JOS). Amid the sea of litigations, some of whom very embarrassing, that characterized PINNICK’S administration, Mr. CHRIS GIWA was regularly visiting court rooms to ensure that AMAJU PINICK was thrown out by men of the jury. These intigations slowed down the smooth running of the NFF at a time. But in spite of these litany of litigations, PINNICK got solidarity from a great spectrum of football fans; stakeholders and FIFA. Eventually, peace was brokered between PINNICK and CHRIS GIWA, and orderliness was restored.
AMAJU’S METEORIC RISE TO STARDOM
Let me use this medium to advise AMAJU PINNICK that his rise to stardom is not by accident nor coincidence but providence. More so, AMAJU is a very smart and meticulous man. He took a gamble by aligning with the incumbent president of CAF, AHMAD AHMAD to oust and unseat ISSA HAYATOU who piloted the affairs of CAF close to three decades. Today as an executive member of CAF, he’s influenced the appointment of his compatriot, Mr. SAMSON ADAM as CAF’s director of competitions. Indeed, this is a laudable achievement!
But he (AMAJU PINNICK) need be reminded that some Nigerians like, Late ETUBOM OROK OYO, AMOS ADAMU, AISHA FOLADE, and PAUL BASSEY and many others had served in several capacities of CAF before. While ETUBOM OROK OYO was a former CAF vice president, AMOS ADAMU was an influential executive member of both CAF and FIFA.
Interestingly, I must reiterate that an opportunity has now presented itself again for a Nigerian to become president of CAF in the nearest future after the October, 2010 bribery scandal that rocked FIFA that ultimately terminated AMOS ADAMU’s dream of becoming CAF President following his involvement in the infamous bribery scandal.
As a matter of fact, AMAJU PINNICK should learn from AMOS ADAMU’S misadventure by ensuring that he conducts and comports himself in a manner that is befitting of the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, CAF executive member, and a loyal and distinguished citizen of Nigeria. It is obvious he’s on the right path and threshold of making history of becoming the first Nigerian to assume leadership of CAF at the nearest future provided he lives above board in all his official and personal endeavors. He has acted and fared well so far. The ball is now in his court to either go the AMOS ADAMU way, or grab a life time chance, to write his name in the folklore of football.