By Amaechi Agbo
As the conduct of elections into the various States’ Football Associations take centre stage across the country within these three weeks, incumbent chairmen have so far reclaimed their mandates in some of the elections conducted so far in some states
From Niger to Nasarawa, Enugu to IMO, Kano to Lagos states, the stories are the same – incumbent FA chairmen were returned elected.
Even though the circumstances that led to their return as chairmen of the State FAs thus far might not be holistically fathomed as at the time of this report, this paper can report that Enugu State FA chairman Chidi Ofo Okenwa and his vice, Barr. Tony Okechi Ugwu were returned unopposed after Monday’s elective congress.
But to comply with the constitutional provisions of the status guiding the conduct of the election, both men scored a total of 27 votes each out of the 27 delegates for the election to retain their seats.
Still on Monday, Alhaji Mohammed Akali was re-elected as Nasarawa State Football Association Chairman. He pulled the majority 19 votes of the delegates to retain his seat.
However, in Lagos State, it was not an easy ride for the incumbent FA chairman and 1st Vice President of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF Seyi Akinwumi as he needed a rerun to outsmart his challenger Alhaji Gafar Liameed
In the first votes cast, the delegates were hugely divided on who should lead the state football for the next four years as Liameed got 6 votes and Akinwumi got seven.
To some outsiders, this was a shocking result because it was believed that the incumbent would have a ride in the election.
Tension mounted, faces looked gloom, nuctrunal meetings were held even without gathering, calls were made and text messages sent.
Like the fate that befall Alhaji Ahmed Fresh in the September 20, 2018 NFF election, the atmosphere was unbearably hot.
Then the rerun. At the end of the second voting, some delegates were made to shift positions, consequently, the incumbent chairman, Seyi Akinwumi was elected after he gathered 9 votes against Liameed’s 4 votes to return for a 3rd term stint as the Lagos State FA boss.
In Imo State, Amanze Uchegbulam garnered all the 25 delegates’ votes to reclaim his seat four another four-year term in the eastern heartland still on Monday.
It could be recalled that on Sunday, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf was elected for the fifth term as the chairman of Niger State Football Association making him one of the longest serving FA chairmen in the country.
As the wave of return of incumbent chairmen sweeps across states’ FA elections, all eyes are patiently focused on Rivers, Kaduna, Delta as well as the FCT FAs whose elective congresses will hold soon.