By Albert Akota
The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung yesterday inaugurated a six-man reconciliation committee to bring lasting solution to the lingering crisis in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Inaugurating the committee in Abuja, Dalung said the NFF crisis has already impeded the desired growth and development of football in the country.
“Except personal interests were set aside, the crisis will continue unabated. So, we need to do something,’’ he said.
Dalung said the committee was set up following a decision taken at the Stakeholders Roundtable on Governance Challenges of the NFF held in July in Abuja.
“Unless we each put aside our parochial interests and differences, and work towards the common goal of combating the evil plaguing Nigerian football, it will continue its free fall.
“This, any responsible government will not allow, hence the need for this committee of distinguished elders,’’ the minister said.
He said the committee’s inauguration yesterday marked yet another milestone in the collective efforts to rescue Nigerian football and set it on a path of sustainable growth.
Dalung urged the committee to identify the causes of the current leadership crisis in the NFF, evaluate the dimensions of the crisis and the contribution of actors to the issue.
He said the committee should invite the two warring NFF factions to the reconciliation table with a view to addressing their concerns towards “achieving a sustainable and win-win solution’’.
Dalung also advised the committee to make recommendations to ensure smooth leadership succession without adversely affecting the development and management of football in Nigeria.
Responding on behalf of the committee members, the chairman of the committee, Abdulmumini Aminu, promised to put in their best to ensure a lasting solution to the crisis.
“The assignment is a complex one in the sense that whatever position you take, the other side will see you as taking side.
“But with the calibre of people on the committee, who are responsible Nigerians and technocrats, I believe we will be able to do a very thorough job for the nation.
“We know there is much at stake in this issue, and the integrity of the country is at stake. Also, `FIFA hammer’ is by the side, it can knock on us at any moment.
“So, we have to be very careful and very thorough while undertaking this assignment,’’ the retired Army Colonel, who is also a former chairman of the NFF, said.
Other members of the committee are former NFF Presidents Ibrahim Galadima and Anthony Kojo-Williams, Onye Gye-Wado, Sam Sam Jaja and Bolaji Ojo-Oba.
A Secretariat to provide proper documentation of all activities of the committee comprises Danjuma Muhammed, the Acting Director of Legal Services at the Sports Ministry, Stanley Okebugwu and Reuben Tiyatiye, the committee has two weeks to work and submit its report.