By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
More bullets have been fired at the Nigeria Football Federation after it emerged that the NFF’s chiefs have usurped the responsibilities of the statutory committees of the federation. The federation had before the 2018 FIFA World Cup constituted 22 different committees in line with the statutes of the NFF including the technical committee but NewTelegraph correspondent has learnt that none of the groups have been allowed to function.
Key member such as Mutiu Adepoju had confirmed that they were never part of several decisions purportedly taken by technical committee of the NFF or met in the last three years to deliberate on critical issues regarding any of the national team.
The matter took bizarre turn when the NFF said in a communiqué that it had mandated its technical committee to screen and come up with the candidates for the vacant positions of the technical director, coaches of the national U-13, 17, 20, and 23 teams within one week and with three days from the expiration of such deadline, members of the committee are feigning ignorance of such directives.
Although the chairman of the committee Ahmed Yusuf Fresh claimed the committee would discharge its duty within four days to the end of the deadline, another member Garba Lawal said he was yet to be briefed officially and it looked a few individuals now take decision on their behalf. “Maybe the chairman takes a decision and takes it to the board and say we have decided over this, I don’t know. But as far as I’m concerned, I am not aware of all of these.
I don’t know anything about current coaches to be employed, nobody has told me anything yet,” Lawal told a radio station on Tuesday. Another Nigeria legend, Taribo West, was named on the technical study group of the federation and the Olympic gold medalist said the body had never met or allowed to perform its duty since 2018.
“They just use your name for political reason and will never allow you to get involved in anything; that is what they have done with some of us in the technical study group. I paid my way to Abuja after the President called me for inauguration and I paid my accommodation bills. They asked me to drop my account detail, nobody has paid anything into my account. More disappointingly, since that so-called inauguration, no one has contacted me for anything,” Taribo said.
Taribo was privileged to be invited for the inauguration, another member of the study group, veteran journalist Godwin Enakhena wasn’t that lucky but still found his name among the inaugurated members. “This country is joke; they said the job of our group is to advise Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr.
However, I was shocked when I was not even invited for the ceremony. I have asked Sanusi, the General Secretary of the NFF about my letter; this is 2018 and as I speak with you I have not seen anything official document, suggesting that I am a member of that committee. The chairman Abba Yola was at the World Cup Draw and the finals but others know nothing,” he said.
However, a source at the federation told our correspondent that the NFF chieftains were strategic in choosing members of the 22 committees as they aimed to silence perceived individuals with influence within football circle who might criticize them as they attempted to retain their seats in the 2018 elections.