Stakeholders urge Gombe to contest NFF elections
While there is still uncertainty whether incumbent Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, will seek a third term in office, some influential Nigerians have called on former Gombe State Football Association Chairman, Ahmed Shaibu Gara-Gombe, to contest for the exalted position.
On the last count, more than seven candidates have indicated interest in the post, which will become vacant later this year.
Among such contestants are former Super Eagles players, including Benedict Akwuegbu, Peterside Idah and Jonathan Akpoborie. Others are top Confederation of African Football (CAF) official, Dr. Christian Emeruwa, Imo FA Chairman, Amanze Uchegbulam and former SWAN president, Fan Ndubuoke.
There were indications last week that the election would hold in September and candidates have since commenced moves to upstage Pinnick, who is reportedly seeking a third term in office.
Among those mounting pressure on Gombe are politicians, civil servants, diplomats, Nigerians in the Diaspora and key figures in Corporate Nigeria, who contend that the major challenges bedevilling Nigerian football over the years require a new direction through visionary leadership of the astute football administrator who is renowned as courageous, fearless, passionate and sincere.
The pressure group, which contends that the legal framework for Nigerian football and the serious distrust between the football federation and Corporate Nigeria that has militated against the country’s football development for several years need urgent redress, also believes that the football community must unite for a common purpose to return the country to where it should belong in the comity of nations, particularly to reassume its long-held leadership in West Africa, Africa and the world.
Gombe has at different times been two-time chairman of Gombe United Football Club, member of Gombe State Sports Council Board, Secretary General of Nigeria Football Stakeholders Forum, Special Adviser on Sports Development to former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, and is the youngest Match Commissioner in the history of Nigeria football after commissioning his first match at age 28 in Ibadan.
In addition to being vice chairman to Chief Adokiye Amiesimaka’s committee on the development of the blueprint for the establishment of the Premier League in Nigeria, set up by then Sports Minister, Stephen Akiga, he was also among the country’s three representatives at the CAF Elective Congress in Egypt where Dr. Amos Adamu was elected as CAF Executive Committee member, as well as consultant to both Julius Berger FC and Voice of Nigeria FC.
His international pedigree also lately led him to being appointed as consultant to Avadas Football Club and Academy in Morocco.