Dudu-Orumen, Peterside Idah slam current board
As the elections into the board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) gets nearer, the call for reforms of existing laws is top issue among stakeholders as the current board is not ready to amend the statutes. Over the years, the ambiguity in the statutes of the NFF persists just as the change of name is yet to be official in the past decades of administration of the game. Authoritative sources revealed to our correspondent that till date the football body collects funds from the Federal Government through the Ministry of Sports as NFA but the same body is known and addressed as NFF even in their correspondences to the world body, FIFA.
Though a reform committee was set up last year by the Amaju Pinnick-led board, the recommendation is yet to see the light of day. A member of the reform committee, Barrister Dudu-Orumen, was furious in his response to our correspondent as he wondered why the federation set up the body without plans to implement their input. “I laugh when people talk of interference especially with the recent advisory letter of the minister on election. It is advisory and a directive by the governing authority in the country. There was first a country before a federation. “On the NFF Statutes, it has not been domesticated as law here.
They only use it to bamboozle people; government is not looking at what they are doing. They take money as NFA and spend it as NFF because in the Appropriation Bill it is known as NFA and not as NFF. In that way, they are subservient to and a parastatal of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, whether they like it or not. “The current NFF Statutes is a very exclusive document which keeps quality people out of the NFF. From the day they conceptualized it. It excluded people who could ventilate football, people who have ideas; people who can stand for truth; people who are not hungry. Instead, they created a cabal that keeps men of substance, men of paunch, men of knowledge out of football. “For me, we better return to the NFA Decree of 2005 or they domesticate the NFF Statutes and expand it to accommodate other people.”
A former Director General in the sports ministry who at some point was an acting Minister of Sports, Dr Patrick Ekeji, in his response said: “The change of name is yet to be amended in the law that created it under the Ministership of late Air Commodore Tony Ikhazoboh.” An aspirant to the NFF Presidency position and former international, Peterside Idah, in a recent interview said it was suicidal that the NFF lacks inclusiveness. “From the start, they have narrowed everything and we cannot continue that way. I have my plans to develop the game and I have exposure in various areas to help our football. I won’t allow the situation here to discourage me, we just have to change things for the better,” Idah said.