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Anxiety grips Anambra FA as NFF ‘inaugurates’ caretaker committee

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Stakeholders in Anambra State football waited anxiously yesterday for the inauguration of the caretaker committee of the state’s football association, as promised by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). But at the end of the day, many left not knowing if it actually held.

The venue of yesterday’s inauguration was shrouded in secrecy, but The Guardian’s checks revealed that the caretaker committee, headed by Mr. Emmanuel Okeke, with Mr. Victor Nwangwu, Mr. Nonso Philip, Mrs. Charity Ebere Okonkwo, and Mrs. Onyeabo Chimezie Success as members, as well as Mr. Onyedika Chijioke as secretary, declared their readiness to swing into action immediately after the inauguration.

However, there was also indication that a rival faction, led by the immediate past chairman of the association, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, who was ‘re-elected’ for a second term at the weekend, has vowed to fulfill its ‘mandate.’

Recall that Anambra FA election was originally scheduled to hold on July 27 and July 28 respectively, but was suspended by the state government to avoid violation of the state’s law on COVID-19. But on August 2, an electoral committee, headed by Jude Anyadufu, went ahead with the poll and returned Senator Ubah via a virtual election. The result of the election, which was signed by the Chairman of 2020 Anambra State Football Association (AnSFA) Electoral Committee, Jude Anyadufu, and issued to newsmen by the Head of Media and Publicity, Obinna Dike, on Monday in Awka, named other elected members of the association as Jude Obikwelu, Philip Balepo, Joe Amene, Uduh Kingsley, Cyprain Amuzie, Collins Obiefune, Adinnu Okezie, and Ada Edward.

The statement noted that “the elections held on August 2, 2020 with Obinna Dike as the returning officer for the LFC, while Godwin Madubuko was the returning officer for the board elections. However, on Monday, the NFF issued a statement insisting that Senator Ubah’s tenure as chairman expired on July 28, when the vacuum in the executive was created.

The statement quoted NFF’s Chairman of Chairmen and executive board member, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau, as describing Senator Ubah’s re-election as a sham and “a charade of very low grade” that would not stand.

NFF went further to appoint the Okeke-led Caretaker Committee, which was given the mandate to conduct elections into the FA board and the LFCs within a period of three months, effective from yesterday to November 2 this year.

Confusion set in early yesterday as almost everybody listed as member of the newly-appointed committee said they were not aware of the venue and time of the inauguration. One of the members, who pleaded anonymity, said he was told to contact a certain number when he arrived in Awka yesterday morning. He promised to get back to The Guardian, but never did as his phone was switched off up to the time of filing this report.

A source close to the new caretaker committee later told journalists that the new body would issue a statement in due course.

 


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