Katsina bubbles as delegates arrive for NFF elections
• FIFA boss, Infantino may arrive in Nigeria today
• Dalung insists there will be no elections
Members of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Congress and candidates for tomorrow’s elections into the executive committee of the federation are expected in Katsina today ahead of Thursday’s polls for a new leadership of the body.
Incumbent NFF President, Amaju Melvin Pinnick is seeking a second term in office, but his position is being challenged by the federation’s former President, Aminu Maigari, its former Secretary General, Taiwo Ogunjobi and club proprietor, Chinedu Okoye.
A source at the NFF secretariat in Abuja told The Guardian yesterday that the clerical staff and some senior officials of the federation have relocated to Katsina to set the stage for the arrival of the congress members and the candidates.
He disclosed that senior NFF officials and the candidates are expected in the state today, adding that the electoral committee may likely meet with the contenders this evening.
“The FIFA and CAF officials billed to monitor the elections were expected in Nigeria last night and this morning. The electoral committee headed by Mohammed Katu were also expected to arrive in Katsina yesterday,” the source, who pleaded anonymity, said.
FIFA and CAF recently announced Luca Piazza and Solomon Mudege as its representatives at the polls, while CAF picked Sita Sangare as its observer.
There were also reports yesterday that FIFA President, Gianni Infantino would be in Nigeria to observe the elections.
FIFA wants to see an end to the incessant crisis that has dogged the NFF hence the decision to send a high level delegation to Nigeria, who apart from the elections, are expected to seek audience with the Presidency.
Aside the candidates for the presidency, there are 10 other positions at stake, including the first vice president’s job, which is currently being held by Seyi Akinwunmi. Akinwunmi will vie with Sunday Dele-Ajayi for that position, while Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah will oppose incumbent Ibrahim Musa Gusau for the slot of chairman of the Committee of State Chairmen.
A total of 15 other persons will battle for the remaining eight available positions on the executive committee. All 44 members of the NFF Congress will cast their votes at the summit.
Meanwhile, Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung is insisting that the Katsina elections will not hold. He said the current NFF board has no right to organize any election ‘since the Supreme Court’ has ruled that they were not elected to run Nigerian football in the first place.
Dalung, who is supporting Chris Giwa’s claims to the NFF job, argued that Nigeria is not an affiliate of FIFA and did not sign any treaty with the world body.
He accused FIFA of overreaching itself by threatening to ban Nigeria from international football, saying that the elections in Katsina would be null and void if it held.