Downturn in Nigeria Football: The Gods Are Not To Blame – Revealing The 7 ‘Gods’ NFF Needs To Appease
By Adewale Ajayi
The Gods Are Not To Blame is a 1968 play and a 1971 novel by Ola Rotimi. An adaptation of the Greek classic Oedipus Rex, the story centres on Odewale, who is lured into a false sense of security, only to somehow get caught up in a somewhat consanguineous trail of events by the gods of the land.
There is no gain saying that Nigeria football needs God’s intervention to rise again. The last few years has seen Nigeria football walk through a difficult road full of thornes and stones. The Super Eagles, Flying Eagles and Golden Eaglets of Nigeria used to be the shinning light of Africa in continental and world football but all that has changed suddenly as our national teams have continued to falter at the biggest stage.
Many have tried to suggest reasons as to why the supposed giant of Africa has suddenly been reduced to dwarfs. In the last six years, it seem to be going from bad to worse with every passing day.
In his desperate search for the truth, this reporter went into a trance and came up with what he thinks, is the way out of Nigeria football calamities. He said the present NFF board have offended too many people in the corridors of football and the earlier they humble themselves and ask for forgiveness, the better it will be for Nigeria football.
THE gods ARE ANGRY
1. Alhaji Aminu Maigari
This former Bauchi state football Association chairman who later rose to become president of the Nigeria football federation was stabbed right on his back by a man he trusted so much. Aminu betrayed his kinsmen and handed over the mantle of leadership to a Southerner due to pressure from above. Today, he is seriously regretting as all promises made have not been met. Infact, he was so pained at the rot in Nigeria football and had to stage a comeback in 2018 only to lose on his second missionary journey in Katsina to the incumbent.
Today, in his hideout somewhere in Bauchi, he regrets every transactions he ever had with this board.
2. Musa Amadu
Former NFF general secretary, Musa Amadu remains the best and finest general secretary Nigeria football has ever known. Intelligent, focused and always on point, Musa was at the forefront of the battle to reclaim Nigeria football from intruders. He stood firm in the face of oppression and risked his life at the battle front just so that the right thing should be done. At one point, he had to run to Niger republic when it became obvious he was the target man. A few months later, he was retained as NFF general secretary only to be sacked for insisting that the Post 2014 FIFA world cup largesse must be used for the reasons why it was given.
Today he is back home in Kaduna, cursing all those behind his fall.
3. Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah
As a senator of the federal republic, senator Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah has little or nor regrets. He is waxing stronger every passing day, as he sets his sights on becoming the next governor of Anambra state. However, he still takes time to reminiscence on his many adventures with the leadership of Nigeria football.
A man who single handedly paid the salaries of Super Eagles chief coach Gernot Rohr for 5months, a man who bankrolled NFF (Nigeria’s) support for Ahmad Ahmad’s CAF presidential campaign and a man who offered his private jet to the NFF leadership for free for international engagements was ridiculed by his old friends who have now pitched tents with governor Willie Obiano, the executive governor of Anambra state in their desperate bid to stop his governorship ambition.
They annuled the state FA election he won clearly and did so much to instal a puppet just to ridicule him. Today the gods are fighting for senator Ubah.
4. Hon Godfrey Ali Gaiya.
At the heat of the NFF crisis in 2014 and 2015, when Ambassador Chris Giwa took custody of the glasshouse, they needed someone to stand up and speak and Honourable Godfrey Ali Gaiya, who was the then chairman House committee on sports rose up to challenge the Chris Giwa led board and stood his grounds that the election held in Chida on August 26, was a charade and cannot stand. He was also in the hurriedly packaged presidential team that went to Warri to install Amaju as president of the NFF in 2014.
Today, he reflects back to all he did with regrets especially with the twist and turns in Nigeria football. He is pained because at some point he has to take over one million naira of his personal money to sponsor a bill in the National assembly in favour of Nigeria football.
5. Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye
This former DG of the national sports commission is the worst hit. Hw championed the Amaju for president campaign and was in Warri on orders from above to instal Amaju as president of the NFF. Since that day till date, he regrets his role in that unholy act. He lives in his palliatial home in Abuja grinning his teeth daily with lots of regrets and anger. He says it to all who cares to listen that he was used because there was never a presidential order, it was just some Warri mafias at work.
6. Edema Fuludu
Former Nigerian international Edema Fuludu was at the forefront of Amaju’s emergence as NFF president. He was seen running from pillar to post in Warri just to make sure all went well.
Fast forward the years to 2020, and things have now fallen apart between Edema and his good friend. He was offered as the sacrificial lamb in a palace coup that saw his best friend Victor Ikpeba and others conniving to send him packing as Delta state FA chairman. Daily, he let go the curses as he regrets all his past dealings with thesame friends that have turned around to stab him.
7. Jude Anyadufu
He never lobbied for it, rather the NFF in their wisdom found him worthy and capable and recommended him to the Anambra FA congress to appoint him as chairman of the electoral committee for the Anambra FA election. He did all that was needed and made history as the first Nigerian to conduct a virtual election that got the approval of the congress.
After doing what many agreed was a perfect and clever job, the NFF in their wisdom, condemned the process and nullified the result of the election. The sports ministry set up an investigative panel and soon resolved that the Anambra FA election of August 2, 2020, as conducted by the Jude Anyadufu led electoral committee met all the requirements and must be allowed to stand.
Despite the ministry’s stand, the NFF stood their grounds and went ahead with another election that never produced a chairman. That has left Jude in pains till this day.
If there is anyone so close to this board, it is Jude. He has taken many bullets on their behalf and has offered himself as sacrificial lamb for a group that never sees him as a friend. They ridiculed him publicly and offered him to be eaten by wolves on the eve of the Anambra FA election. Today, he lives with bitter memories of all that transpired and needs to be appeased if Nigeria football must rise again.
The gods are certainly not happy with this board