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News Analysis: Dark Horses Dancing Naked At Nation’s Football House


By Tajudeen Balogun Head, African Examiner, Nigeria Bureau, Lagos

When an unfortunate fellow who draws peoples’ attention is out of his mind and ignorantly focuses on others, he is only creating more scenes and undoing himself. There is no better way to describe the ongoing absurdity – raging controversies just smuggled, via court ruling into the nation’s football house – the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) than this.

The actor(s) in the new, needless, useless and senseless power debate in the glass house is or are like the dark horses dancing naked. The embarked show of shame would at a point terminate; even from the outset, it is very clear that, the disgruntled self-seeking individuals, who to a large extent, due to their previous antics and mischief have dragged the country’s football administration and performance many steps backward in the recent times will fail woefully in the end.

Note, the current African Champion (Nigeria) FIFA’s ranking due to the previous power tussle, by the mischief makers keeps declining not only in the world, but where its senior team holds the ace. It was rated 42nd and ninth in the world and Africa respectively last week.

Chris Giwa, the first dark horse is currently trying the impossibility. He and his camp went to the court to challenge the recent NFF election and its outcome – an exercise not only hailed and accepted by the Nigerian public including the mass media, but the world, in particular the FIFA.

In a very shocking ruling, the Federal High Court last Thursday, in Jos, the Plateau state capital ruled and axed the newly elected NFF President, Amaju Pinnick. Justice Ambrose Allagoa ruled that he had set aside all the proceedings and decisions of the Warri Extra Ordinary meeting of the September 20 and the Elective Congress of September 30 which he established, directly ran contrary to the orders of his court dated September 19, 2014.

Consequently, Justice Allagoa ruled that the status quo – he, Giwa be recognized and returned as the authentic NFF Head. He held again that the former NFF President, Aminu Maigari was wrong to have conducted the September 30, ‘all hailed’ election.

This ruling is definitely lacks justice and inconsistent to the past and present facts of history.

First, the dark horse and learned jurist are fully aware that the same ruling they were referring to, existed before Tuesday, August 26, 2014 when the factional NFF conducted in FCT Abuja an election, which produced Giwa as the President. The court is fully aware that this election was illegal as the exercise was meant to be a mere congress to fix the date for election proper.

The question now, is that is the same court aware about this obvious fact – that the person it ordered to head NFF was elected through the back door? I wish to say here that a court is an honorable institution, therefore, expected not to drag its revered name in the mud, hence ridicule itself.

It is very certain that Chris Giwa and his co-horts will fail in this new and needless hassle and the reasons are very simple. The dancing dark horse should know that Nigerians have their facts on the recent NFF power race as well as the roles played by individuals, so also are the external world – bodies, in particular the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA.

Let Giwa and his fans be told that his naked dancing is going to be shot lived and will soon be ousted disgracefully. The pains I share here with a whole lot of Nigerians are that it was the same self-seeking power game that cost Super Eagles the recent misfortunes and poor global ranking. It has never been this bad! And can we really afford to make the situation messier as we have presently?

The expected implication; Penultimate the new week, the CAF President, Issa Hayatou, warned against the FIFA’s ban latest Monday, if the nonsense in the glass house remains. In fact, the media reports have it that the Super Falcons were only allowed to play the African Women Championship (AWC) final match against Cameroon on Saturday (which they won) after a plea was made to FIFA executives.

In addition, Hayatou reportedly told the Nigerian Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo in Windhoek, Namibia that the world football governing bodies were fed up with “events in Nigeria”.

It was established that the CAF President pleaded to FIFA on behalf of Nigeria as she was in the AWC final and a ban on the country then would amount to a bad competition and sponsors. FIFA has also threatened If Nigeria was banned or suspended now, the decision would stand until its 65th Congress slated for May 29, 2015!

With all of these, there is virtually nothing to guess what would likely be the fate of Nigeria, should these self centre and power drunk individuals allow continuing with their shameful and naked display.

The court ruling Giwa and his followers rely on is not dependable and very misleading. At most, it follows the same attempt by some politicians some years ago, who approached Supreme Court to hear and rule over the same subject matter the same court has previously heard and ruled. This is trying the impossibility. Of course, the NFF matter has not reached similar extent, but the link there is the fact that the same court is contradicting itself – by saying Giwa (elected while the ruling it referred to in the latest judgment existed) should return to the office. By implication, the kangaroo exercise that produced Giwa should not have held in the first place. Ironical won’t you say?

It was indeed an error for some, who had thought this leading dark horse was a man of honour, when he stepped down ahead of September 30 full-fledged NFF last election held in Warri, Delta state. He is definitely not. Rather, he is among the folks who had recently dragged the country football backward, sequel to their self-desire. They have killed the the country’s football and he and others are definitely on their way to incur the final and hefty blows.

Well, if the Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo is not part of them, this is the time to act very fast to save Nigeria and its football future. If he is not one of them, he should call the first dark horse and his greedy followers, address them and call them to order. He should let them realize that the NFF and the country are bigger than anyone of them; that the national interest should be above all others, provided he does not belong to their camp.

However, if the dark horse is only playing the bidding of the power house, well they should be told that the position of Nigerians is that they have nothing to gain in Giwa – led NFF as his election was not only fraudulent, but insultive and offensive to the sensibility of every right thinking individual.

Finally, with the present situation, President Goodluck Jonathan must wade in, as his Sports Minister has failed to prove that he is actually on top of the matter. Mr. President, your silence on NFF crisis is not discomfortable. Or will President Jonathan wait for the FIFA to slam Nigeria with another suspension before the aides begin to junket around to globe, to lobby and seek reversal of action? A stitch in time will this time save ten. Therefore, Mr. President for the sake of the country’s football and sports loving Nigerians, kindly help stop these dark horses from their disgraceful and naked dancing.

E – Mail: tjaysuccess10@gmail.com; Twitter: @tajudeen balogun      


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