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Lulu campaigns for Uchegbulam, urges delegates to elect competent candidate

By Ernest Nzor, Abuja
25 September 2022   |   3:22 am
Former President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Abdullahi Sani Lulu, has made a passionate appeal to delegates of the September 30 elections in Benin...

Sani Lulu Abdullahi

Former President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Abdullahi Sani Lulu, has made a passionate appeal to delegates of the September 30 elections in Benin to resist the temptation of voting along religious and regional lines, and elect the right person with the experience and capacity to refocus the country’s football. 

He said the country’s football needs someone versatile in football politics and administration to restore the glory of the game in the country.

Specifically, Lulu wants the delegates to elect Amanze Uchegbulam, who was his first vice president, as the next NFF president, saying he will return Nigeria to the top 10 of global football ranking. 

“Our football has witnessed ups and downs and what we need right now is someone with an in-depth knowledge of football politics and administration across the African continent to restore our glory in football.

“When I became NFF president in 2006, one of my cardinal objectives was to ensure that I developed football in the grassroots and through our project, we got the best players for all the national teams and qualified for all the FIFA organised competitions, with Brazil being likely the only country with such a record. We were rated ninth among the football playing nations in the world by FIFA. 

“I didn’t achieve the feat alone; I worked with people like Uchegbulam, who was my first vice president and Taiwo Ogunjobi. I believe Uchegbulam has the experience and capacity to surpass this record if voted in as president of NFF,” he said. 

The former FCT director of sports development, who was born in Zaria, Kaduna State, denounced the agitation by some northern stakeholders that the next NFF president after Amaju Pinnick should come from the northern region since the outgoing president is from the south.

He said merit, rather than sentiment, should guide the delegates in deciding the next president of the NFF. He explained: “I succeeded Ibrahim Galadima and after me, it was Aminu Maigari, we were all from the north. So, I don’t believe the southerners have overstayed their welcome not to be the next NFF president.

“Our country, Nigeria has the potential to be the best globally, and therefore, we should be looking for merit and the best candidate for the job.

“So, my appeal to our distinguished leaders, my friends, the states’ FA chairmen and other congress members is to search their hearts well and vote for the right person in the person of Uchegbulam.  I have been there and my passion is to see our football doing well again.”