Acting president Yemi Osinbajo gives Pinnick led NFF board STAMP OF AUTHORITY to continue
Compiled by – Daniel Ator…Government house correspondent-Abuja
Acting president Yemi Osinbajo did not mince words. He was direct and blunt during a 25 minutes closed door meeting with Nigeria sports minister Solomon Dalung after the federal executive council meeting on wednesday.
Earlier, Osinbajo, during a meeting with NFF president Amaju Pinnick had referred to the content of Tuesday FIFA letter, where the world football governing body threatened to place an indefinite ban on Nigeria, if Chris Giwa and his cohorts, continue to parade themselves as the legally elected NFF executive committee.
In thesame letter, FIFA carefully narrated the sequence of events from 2014 till date and warned that if Amaju Pinnick and his secretary general are continiously denied their deserved priviledges, then the hammer will fall.
This prompted the Acting president’s meeting with Pinnick, who coincidentally is the first vice president of CAF, a member of the FIFA council and a respected and revered personality in world football.
After over 30 minutes of heart to heart discussion, Osinbajo, affirmed governments position, as spelt out by president Mohammadu Buhari in his letter to the attorney genersl of the federation directing that status quo remains.
According to Osinbajo, the federal government is impressed with the improvement the Amaju Pinnick led board has brought to football administration in Nigeria and will not be party to any move to end the success story abruptly.
He is however of the view that the court processes must continue to an expected end, but he has warned that status quo must remain pending when the case that is now at the federal high court, l is won and lost at the supreme court.
He enjoined anyone interested in becoming NFF president or member of the executive committee to take advantage of the window provided by the September 20 election and contest for elective positions.
The vice president in his usual fatherly disposition, appealed to the Amaju Pinnick led board to always provide room for peaceful reconciliation with all aggrieved parties and it was at that point, that the NFF president made reference to the resolutions of the Benin congress which clearly offered an olive branch to the aggrieved.
Then during the federal executive council meeting which had Dalung present for the first time in five weeks, the matter was again discussed with everyone present unanimously agreeing, that government must respect the pact signed with the world football governing body (FIFA) if they want to remain as part of the global football family.
After the FEC meeting, the vice president then invited Dalung to a seperate meeting to officially inform him of government’s position, while admonishing him to ensure that all agreements reach at today’s meeting is strictly adhered to.
This may have finally brought an end to a lingering crisis that has lived with the present Amaju Pinnick led executive committee throughout the board tenure.
Todays meetings has obviously put a stamp on the September 20 date for fresh elections and paved way for the NFF electoral committee to go about their work without any form of intimidation and molestation .
By Emmanuel Tobi