Peace is priceless. This is unarguable. Of this, Cyprian Ekwensi once wrote “wisest warrior is one who survives the peace…” Ekwensi was one of the greatest writers of our generation, behind late Chinuea Achebe. He was talking about the civil war in Nigeria. Those who survived that war had one major worry confronting them-to also survive the resultant peace! Thank God, Nigeria did not disintegrate.” Ekwensi wrote “But those who rose from the rubble of this war must be careful to survive the confusion that will arise from the peace following the war.” he chided.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) was in the thick of a leadership tussle since the last world cup. The war was very reminiscent of the Nigeria-Biafra war.
Power was at centre stage of the battle. Aminu Maigari, until early this month, the president of the NFF, was the target. More members of the federation wanted Maigari out. Although Nigerians are now familiar with the second tenure syndrome in our elective positions, the case of Aminu Maigari was different. None of those administered the game wanted him there!
How inconsistent humans can be. A few weeks back, Maigari was held by these people as the “Presido.” They worshipped him like a thin god. He was their all and all. Most of who were not supposed to make the trip to Brazil for the world cup succeeded after pleading with Maigari to that effect.
Believing that these were his confidants, the “Presido” acceded to their requests. After the world cup, Maigari became their target. The entire war that was fought before and during the election of the new board that brought Pinnick Amaju on stage had Maigari at the centre stage of the battle. Poor Maigari!
At the peak of that battle, Congo Brazzaville sneaked into Calabar and dealt with the Super Eagles. If we are not in Morrocco for the African Cup of Nations this January, it is as a result of that injury inflicted on us by Congo Brazzaville. Those who wanted Maigari out of NFF presidential seat never cared if Nigeria lost that match.
All this while, peace eluded Nigerian football. It is not even over yet Amaju Pinnick has landed in the midst of that power play that ended Maigari’s tenure. He is welcome.
For those who think he is a novice, Amaju Pinnick is NOT. He has been the chairman of Delta Sports Commission for more than 10years. Amaju is one of the reason why Delta State has vendeared herself to victories in various sports particularly football.
His middle name is “success.” And that explains so much in Delta sports. Ask any football player in Warri Wolves. Outside the game that he plays, Pinnick Amaju is the first language that Warri Wolves’ players understand.
The new NFF president is so influential in the club that most of Warri Wolves’ players do not even know his first name. Everyone mentions Amaju. And that is understandable. Major decisions are taken by him. If not, they must be approved by him.
Whatever is taking Amaju to Abuja is NFF president, Warri Wolves must get a mention. Wolves as a club was the training ground from which Amaju emerged. And Wolves also benefited. It was the new NFF president that took the club to the continent. it was Amau’s ingenuity that took the club to the premier league in Nigeria. It was still his administrative prowess that sustained the club that enviable bracket till this day!
Amaju will obviously raise our football to the next level. He clearly did it in Warri Wolves and yours sincerely is a living witness. At the thick of things in Warri, Wolves did not have an office.
Affairs of the club were handled from Amaju’s home. He didn’t bother. Everyone had access to any spot in the house, including his kitchen. He did not blink an eye and soon, the club landed on the African continent. Thus, he gave the team her first real practical exposure to continental football.
Amaju must do this to Nigerian football. Nigeria must get more genuine respect in world football. And it has to be through this Delta man. He can do it. And he will. There’s no doubt that this is his mission.
Already, he has passed a tall order to Keshi: “You must beat Sudan away.” He didn’t talk about home. The Amaju in football does not regard home wins.
Welcome to the NFF. The only worry is whether the politicians of the federation will give you the enabling environment to perform. There lies the key to your success. It is worthwhile that you take heed to handle these people. They destroyed virtually chairmen and presidents of this federation. They are still not tired. But do not allow them to destroy you. Their greatest joy lies in destroying those who ascend the throne.
NFF politicians are very crafty!~ In the process of electing a President for the federation, they are influential. They will do all in their power to make him. Still they are the very first to pull you down if you fail to dance the rhythm that they will beat for you.
Pinnick Amaju knows if these people assisted in elevating him, if they did, too bad. Too bad, because they will be in the major power play that will finally destroy him when the time comes. It will eventually come. Time, yes, time flies. And these people are always patient. They are as patient as the vulture.
But when their war gets underway, the tornado is an understatement.
Goodluck to Amaju. The only hope for our football administration is that he finds a formula to dismantle these people stable authority in both the NFF and the National Sports Commission. There lies the genuine liberation for our football, for our flingling football leagues and for our various campaigns in world soccer tournaments.
The New NFF Executive Board
- President – Amaju Pinnnick
- 1st Vice President- Seyi Akinwumi
- 2nd Vice President – Obinna Ogba
- South-South- Chris Green
- North Central- Suleiman Yahaya Kwande
- South East – Felix Anyansi Agwu
- South West – Atunba Dele Ajayi
- North West – Sherrif Rabiu Inuwa
- North East- Modibo Hussein, Kachalla Babagana