By Amaechi Agbo
The nation’s football governing body, Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, was last week thrown into confusion following President Mohammadu Buhari’s announcement of the appointments of different individuals as members of the NFF Board.
The Federal government had announced the appointment of over 1,000 members including 209 board Chairmen to fill boards and government parastatal positions including the Nigeria Football Federation, the National Youth Service Corps, the National Institute for Sports and the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre which are all under the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
The appointment of a 5-man board into the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) by President Mohammadu Buhari may have opened another round of confusion in federation headed by Amaju Pinnick.
The NFF is presently composed by a 12-man elected executive board but Buhari in the latest reconstitution of board of federal agencies and parastatals named a 5-man board to be headed by elected president.
The development is coming on the heels of the return of Ibrahim Galadima, former NFA chairman and vice chairman of the defunct National Sports Commission (NSC). He heads a 2-man board of the National Institute for Sports (NIS) according to the circular released by government.
Reacting to evolving confusion, the Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung called on football stakeholders to remain calm as efforts were being made to correct an oversight made following the recent appointments into the board of the Nigeria Football Federation.
Barrister Dalung in a statement by his Senior Assistant on media Nneka Anibeze said that the appointment of members into the NFF board by the federal government was an oversight, as by virtue of their statutes, members are elected and not appointed.
According to the statement: “the recently released board members of NFF is an oversight which is being sorted out. NFF is governed by statutes and board members are elected by congress and not appointed.
“I am appealing for calm from all stakeholders as it was an administrative oversight. Efforts are tailored towards addressing it very soon.”
The Minister also stated that government and Football’s governing body FIFA were in talks to clarify the issue and assure them that no harm was intended.
“I have spoken with FIFA Secretary General over the situation in Nigeria and conveyed Federal government’s commitment to uphold the governance structure of the Nigeria football Federation.
“All efforts are on course to liaise with CAF and FIFA on constructive engagement that the situation may likely attract. This board of NFF under Amaju has provided leadership but their performance is subject to a congress and not appointment, Dalung stated.
Members of the NFF board include Wale Oladunjoye, Alhaji Sanni Fema , Akintoba Adebiyi Fategun and Sani Musa Marafa.
The appointment has already triggered off some confusion in football circle, especially with the NFF board election billed for 2018.
The question now on the lips of observers is whether the NFF executive committee would be subordinated to the appointed board on matters of football policy.