NRA Election: In Search Of NFF’s Neutrality In The Whistle Profession (Opinion)
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I was still trying to understand the games being played by some Football Associations (FA) chairmen in a bid to remain in office while some government officials have usurped the role of FA chairmen in a bid to put their stooges in office, in the process of still trying to come to terms with the whole scenario only for me to hear about the removal of Edo State FA chairman with few days to election
However, what is more painful is the silence of Nigeria’s football arbiter, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF on the whole issue. While trying to wrap my head around the conundrum, I received a text message from an unknown number of joint zonal meeting of Nigeria Referees Association reportedly called by NFF President, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau.
The notice reads: “I have been directed to inform all the councils’ Chairmen and Secretaries that the joint meeting of the North Central, North East and North West of NRA has been scheduled as follows:
- Venue of the meeting: R and K hotel, Magajin Rumfa Road, Opposite DSTV Office, Nasarawa, GRA, Kano.
- Date of arrival/Meeting: 24th April, 2023
- Date of departure: 25th April, 2023.
SGD: Omale Clement O. (Zonal Sec)
For: Zonal Coordinator”
On face value, there is nothing wrong with the northern block calling for a meeting especially with NRA election ahead. But what baffles me was the name of NFF President, Ibrahim Gusau being mentioned in that breath and being reported to have called for the meeting; paid for accommodation and flight tickets of participants in a bid to sway votes for his annointed candidate, Sani Zubairu.
Is the NFF President only for the North? Why is South-West and South-East not part of this meeting in far Kano? This might likely lead to division within the association instead of uniting the family.
According to information reaching me from the grapevine, the NFF President was reported to have spoken to powers that be in NRA to stop some candidates from contesting for NRA Presidency some of them are the former Secretary General of NRA, Prince Moruf Oyekunle Oluwa, Elder Olokor Daniel and the other one is Dr Omeiza Suleiman.
All the 3 candidates contesting hail from North Central including the anointed one, Alh. Sani Zubairu. I can report that the power block within NRA supported by NFF President was able to convince Oyekunle Oluwa and Elder Olokor to forgo their ambitions to become the Association’s president despite the fact that they are from North Central Referees Council.
The power block was unable to stop Dr Omeiza because he is neutral and a man manager in addition to having the support of his constituency. His achievements in the course of the game and after the game are remarkable, so, if it boils down to achievements then he is a man to take NRA to the utopia. Besides all these, he is also a full fleded Northerner unlike Oluwa and Co.
As if that is not all, the President is also mounting Increasing pressure on outgoing EXCOs requesting them to send all the phone numbers of all delegates to him. You may ask yourself what does NFF President Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau has to gain in all of these, or is this an effort to make the NRA subservient to NFF.
The question is which agenda is NFF President pursuing? Why is he trying to favour a particular candidate over another?
The NRA is an independent body and any attempts to interfere or influence the body’s election will be met with stiff resistance from the members.
The Nigeria Referees Association is an affiliate of NFF not a subsidiary,. The president should remain neutral and like a father should not favour any person but support whoever emerges at the end of the day rather than trying to create animosity among NRA members.