Maigari: 34 FA chairmen kick, FIFA adamant

A former Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, and thirty-four chairmen of the country’s Football Association have kicked against the sack of Aminu Maigari as the country’s football boss.
This position is coming as the world’s football governing body, FIFA, insisted on Sunday that it would go ahead with its threat to sanction Nigeria if Maigari was not restored to his position latest by Tuesday.
Galadima and the FA chairmen said the sack of Maigari was done in bad taste.
They also said it would damage the gains made by Nigerian football in the last four years.
The Delta State FA Chairman and Executive Chairman of the state’s Sports Commission, Amaju Pinnick, is at the head of the FA chairmen against the move.
Galadima said the brazen manner in which he was removed from office as the boss of the NFF then, was on display in the removal of Maigari.
He said: “If the Sports Ministry and the National Sports Commission say they were using the Jos Court judgement to displace the present Executive Committee, then they have flouted the court order, because the court also said there should be no congress.
“So, where did they get the powers to appoint an administrator and start to sack all management staff members?
“It’s absurd, illegal and we pray that common sense will prevail.
“As far as some of us are concerned, the country is retrogressing instead of moving forward internationally in football.
“If it has to do with funds management, then we can understand and there are better ways of going about it instead of putting Nigeria in bad light for the wrong reasons internationally.”
Galadima called on the Minister of Sports, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, to retrace his steps.
He said: “This matter is not about any individual but about the nation and the bad report and the possible damage this development will do to our football.
“We hear the Minister and another official are going to FIFA headquarters when the World Cup is going on.
“It will amount to nothing.
“Let’s settle at home.”
Amaju said he has reached Danagogo personally on the issue.
Amaju said the country’s image and football must be insulated from politics.
He said: “What we are seeing is an attempt to rubbish a very good man in Aminu Maigari.
“Yes, he may have his limitations but in reality, Nigeria has not had it this good for a long time with a football administrator as Maigari has demonstrated.
“The Minister might have his points of argument but Nigeria should supercede all.
“Otherwise by Tuesday, we will be banned by FIFA and that will take us several years backwards because we cannot be against the international politics of the game.”
Amaju said he believes that if the Presidency actually approved the removal of the Executive Committee of the NFF, it was ill-advised and there must be a way to correct the anomaly and save face from the looming FIFA ban.
He said: “We should stop making ourselves a laughing stock before the international community because to be honest, football is one of the sectors that has been thriving in the country and we must make it better instead of fighting ourselves.
“The Minister and the NFF must find a common ground to resolve this issue for the good of the country.
“We even hear they want to bring back some characters whose only source of livelihood is football.
“We must not go there because we know the antecedents of these men.”
Also, 33 other state FA Chairmen said they were shocked at the turn of events but will play the waiting game to ensure they do not run foul of FIFA rules and also thread the path of honour.
FIFA is also adamant that the July 8 ultimatum stays ooo.
A source in the world’s football governing body told The Eagle Online that the ban is imminent.
The source told The Eagle Online in Brazil, venue of the ongoing World Cup: “We hear FIFA is investigating Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, it has been said that only three state FA chairmen attended Saturday’s Congress, which was convened by the Chairman of the Chairmen of the country’s Football Association, Chief Effiong Johnson.
Some of the chairmen disowned the meeting in a statement on Sunday, saying they were nowhere near the venue.
A statement signed by some of them reads: “Our attention has been drawn to news making the round that the Executive Committee Members, Management Committee and all Chairmen of the various State Football Associations and the Federal Capital Territory attended the just concluded illegal Congress presided over by one Chief Effiong Johnson.
It is further to bring to the notice of the NFF, football stakeholders in Nigeria and the entire good people of Nigeria that in total compliance with the order of Hon. Justice P. L. Lot in Suit No. PLD/J 342/2014 between Mrs. Ebiakpo Rumson Baribote vs. Nigeria Football Association & four others, that the Executive Committee and the Management staff of the the Defendant and the various Chairmen of the State Football Association, an affiliate of the Defendant in the said suit, with the exception of Chief Effiong Johnson, Alhaji Shehu Adamu, Chief Obinna Ogba, Chidi Offor Okenwa, Austin Popo, did not send any proxy nor took part in the illegal Congress convened by the Hon. Minister For Sports/Chairman National Sports Commission, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, and presided over by Chief Effiong Johnson.”
The statement was signed by Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, Ahmed Yusuf, Alhaji Mohammed Modibbo, Sir E. C. Chukwuemeka, Barrister Chris Green, Ibrahim Gusau and Barrister Musa Amadu.