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South South FA chairmen to boycott NFF activities over crisis in Delta football

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• Pass vote of no confidence on Ibah
• Gusau explains rationale behind normalisation committee

Chairman of Chairmen of Nigerian Football, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau has stated that the NFF resorted to appointing a Normalisation Committee to run the affairs of the Delta State Football Association following the long-drawn intractable crisis that bedevilled that affiliate.
 
“Early last year, the board of the Delta State Football Association wrote a petition against the acting Chairman, bordering on various allegations, and eventually held a congress where the members suspended the acting Chairman.  The NFF took note of the decision because process adopted complied with the laid down regulations for such to happen.

“We gave them ample time to fully resolve the crisis and conduct fresh elections in full adherence to the guidelines provided by the NFF Statutes and the electoral code. But they could not,” he said.
 


Gusau said that in as much as the nation’s governing body for the game has no interest in who takes the mantle of leadership in the Delta State Football Association, it could not afford to play the ostrich and shirk its responsibilities when the tenure of the immediate past board had expired.

“The term of the board of which Mr. Augustine Okocha was chairman, and which later appointed Mr. Edema Fuludu as acting Chairman, expired more than five months ago, without the quagmire being conclusively resolved.
 
“We were later informed that elections were conducted and a board had emerged. There was no way elections could have been conducted in such miasma of crisis. The so-called elections did not follow the guidelines and the NFF cannot allow such to stand.”
 
Gusau, also a Member of the NFF Executive Committee and Chairman of the Zamfara State Football Association, said the meeting of chairmen of the South-South zone held in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 did not address the core of the issue surrounding the Delta State imbroglio.
 
“Delta FA is an affiliate of the NFF. Our position is that it is the football stakeholders in Delta State, and particularly those who are eligible to vote in the FA elections, who will elect people into the Delta State Football Association, not the entire stakeholders in the South-South zone.” 

Gusau expressed surprise that 1997 African Player of the Year Victor Ikpeba, who seconded the motion for the suspension of Fuludu – a 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner with the Super Eagles – is the same man now claiming to have been elected as vice chairman to the latter.
 
“The Normalisation Committee has started its work, and by the Grace of God, we expect to have a duly elected board for the Delta State Football Association in the next three months.”

Meanwhile, the Chairmen of the Football Associations in the South South zone of Nigeria met at Port-Harcourt Rivers State on January 21 and issued the following communique.

1). It has come to our attention that the President of the NFF Mr. Amaju Pinnick, the Chairman of Chairmen Mr Ibrahim Gusau and the South South zonal coordinator Mr Emmanuel Ibah relying on Article 8 (2) of FIFA Statutes 2019 has set up a Normalisation Committee to manage the affairs of the Delta State Football Association.

2). It is our firm view that in the absence of any crisis in Delta State Football Association prior to the constitution of this Normalisation Committee, and in addition to the fact that the said Article 8 (2) has not been adopted by the Congress of the Nigeria Football Federation, their reliance on the said Article 8 (2) of the FIFA Statutes is misplaced.

3). As far as we are concerned, what the aforesaid persons have done is create, an artificial crisis, which they then relied on to constitute the Normalisation Committee with the sole design of installing Tony Okowa the Executive Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission as the Chairman of the Delta State Football Association.

4). This, in our opinion, is a dangerous precedent that can only lead to undermining the supremacy of Congress.

5). Relying on article 13 (1) (f) of the Statutes of the NFF, we request the NFF to immediately constitute an arbitration panel to resolve this dispute between the aforementioned persons and the Delta State Football Association.

6). Pending the resolution of this issue, we the undersigned Chairmen of the Football Associations in the South South Zone of Nigeria shall boycott all NFF events.

7). We are also disappointed with the actions of our zonal coordinator Mr. Emmanuel Ibah in the handling of this matter. He has abdicated his duties and responsibilities as the representative of the Zone.
Consequently, we hereby pass a Vote of no confidence on him. Henceforth he ceases to represent the South South geopolitical zone in the NFF executive committee. 


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