By Amaechi Agbo and Agency report
On Tuesday, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, despite FIFA’s confirmation not to ban Nigeria over the seemingly intractable brouhaha that have bedeviled Nigeria football for year, declared that he still stands with the rule of law.
Dalung’s statement on was a reconfirmation of his stand on the protection and safeguarding of the nation’s constitution which he swore to uphold when he took oath of office in November 2015 as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
As a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, who took oath of office to protect and defend the constitution of Nigeria, Dalung could not have acted against the sanctity of the law he vowed to protect.
However, it is this total resolve to uphold the law of land and not to subordinate it to an international association, FIFA that perceived enemies have hinged on to label the minister ‘enemy of Nigeria football.’
This group who vowed to wreck football in Nigeria has in various ways and forms engaged in abstract and deliberate campaign of blackmail and persistent insult on the Minister of sports castigating him and calling him unprintable names for his astute stand on rule of law in the country.
One thing the minister of sports has shown in this crisis is remaining on the side of law and truth. Some have gone through the back door to try and misinform the President, Mohammadu Buhari on the state of things at the Glass House as well as even blackmail his party APC ahead of 2019 elections, all because of interest, political affiliation and friendship they share with Pinnick.
There have been consistent calls for the President, Mohmmadu Buhari to sack him in view of his obvious “bias” stand in the imbroglio. All because he is insisting he will not misinform and ill advise the president to disobey and disregard the rule of law that gave him the power to be the President of Nigeria. The same rule of law which made former President Jonathan concede defeat despite being the sitting President three years ago.
The traducers went on to paint him as a sectional leader with tribal inkling. Unfortunately to them, the minister “does not give a damn”
A Supreme Court judgment that both Amanju and Giwa had legal representatives but Giwa won; upholding the judgment has become the minister arch heels.
Is it now obvious that no sane leader would work against the dictates of the law and successesed. Or are the rumour peddlers thinking the minister should have helped Pinnick to influence the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment?
Has anybody bothered to ask why was Pinnick not able to get a favourable judgment at the country’s apex court? Or has anybody cared to ask why the peace and reconciliation moves that was initiated in 2014by Goodluck Jonathan not adhered to by Pinnick’s board?
The group are by their unpatriotic desire in challenging Dalung placed FIFA’s laws far and above Nigeria’s and are telling President Buhari to jettison the ruling from the Supreme Court in favour of FIFA statutes.
Beyond Giwa and Pinnick, Nigerians and indeed the people championing the propaganda, should not forget that if he does that, beyond the judicial suicide he would have committed , the nation’s football would have naturally returned to the web of some few both at home and in FIFA.
It is at this basis that the insinuation that Dalung made Giwa NFF President lacks any form of credibility.
Even if all the ministers in the federal executive council meeting love Pinnick and want to help him, they cannot do anything if the court orders are not vacated.
Based on the Supreme Court judgment, despite FIFA and federal government’s recognition, Pinnick, by the laws of Nigeria, is not NFF President. This is not a statement of hatred, it’s not a statement of lies and blackmail but a statement that has been reaffirmed by Nigeria’s highest court.
If the orders of court are not vacated with or without Giwa today , anybody can pick up the judgment of the supreme Court and go to court to sue anybody that is doing business with Pinnick as NFF president because the laws of Nigeria do not know him in that capacity .
The orchestrators as well as Pinnick know this, hence their frantic effort to get the judgment vacated but when they could not get it, they used FIFA to arm-twist the federal government into accepting illegality in the name of avoiding a FIFA ban.
The Minister has therefore set up a well formidable reconciliatory committee to find a lasting remedy because according to him, “This crisis cannot be solved with a temporary measure or scratched on the surface. The intervention of the Vice President should not be viewed as different from an attempt to abate an escalating situation.
“I want to appeal to Nigerians to remain calm and give support to the NFF Elders Stakeholders Reconciliation Committee which is made up of reputable past Presidents and General Secretaries of the NFF with vast knowledge, experience and competence to resolve this crisis once and for all.
“We are a constitutional democracy and the doctrine of separation of powers is the foundation of democratic experience, therefore, the Rule of Law is the only mechanism that guarantees liberty and freedom of citizens.”