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NFF Elections Moved to September

World football governing body, FIFA, has endorsed the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) General Assembly fixed for Warri on Tuesday despite the shifting of elections into the executive committee till next month by the Aminu Maigari led-board.

In a letter to the Glass House in Abuja yesterday, FIFA’s Deputy General Secretary, Markus Kattner, conveyed the approval for the general assembly, while also expressing its support for a free and fair election within the next two weeks.

“We take note of the decision of the NFF executive committee to ask the members of the upcoming congress on 26 August 2014 to consider a new roadmap for the elections, which should be held not later than two weeks after the congress.

“The congress being the highest-decision making body of any football association, we approve of the above plan and, as previously stated, we are supportive of an electoral process that is free and open to everybody thereby fulfilling the requirements of the NFF regulations,” observed the letter from Zurich.

FIFA also commiserated with the federation over the Wednesday morning fire incident which destroyed a section of the Glass House sheltering the Accounts Department, Secretary General’s office and the IT unit.

However, the Chairman of the Electoral Committee saddled with the conduct of the elections, Amoni Rollins Biambo, last night challenged the NFF by insisting that the board election will go ahead as scheduled on August 26.

Biambo told reporters that the board had no power to determine or postpone the date for the election.
But Biambo who threatened that the entire electoral committee would consider resigning in protest if its independence was trampled upon, said the committee had not been notified in writing of the postponement.

“August 26 remains sacrosanct and not negotiable as we have decided that the election will go ahead. It will also hold in Abuja and not Warri because of security concern. If there is dictation, we will not hesitate to throw in the towel. We don’t want to play any body’s script because we are a duly constituted committee saddled with the responsibility of conducting the election as stipulated by the federation’s statutes,” Biambo insisted.

He said that the committee had followed due process regarding August 26 which on Wednesday was communicated to FIFA in writing. He stated the election would hold in Abuja as originally determined.

Biambo said only the congress can change the date of the election and that such change can only be done with a 30-day notice.
He said the scarcity of nomination forms that resulted in the disqualification of some candidates from standing for the election was masterminded by some individuals who deliberately horded the forms. Both Mike Umeh and Segun Odegbami originally disqualified have now been cleared to run for the presidency of the federation.

But in a swift move, NFF’s Secretary General, Musa Amadu, dismissed Biambo’s declaration on the elections as one made in error.
“The statement must have been made in error. As far as the NFF is concerned, there will be no elections at the General Assembly of Tuesday, 26th August. There is a proposal that we are taking to the General Assembly (the supreme body of Nigeria football) for consideration and approval, with regards to the elections.

“It is for the NFF and the General Assembly to propose the date for elections, not that of the Electoral Committee, which was put in place by the General Assembly,” declared Amadu.

The NFF scribe confirmed that the proposal to be taken before the General Assembly on Tuesday in Warri will see to the elections being conducted not later than two weeks after the assembly, on the advice of FIFA.

“The elections will definitely take place in early September, 2014. All hands are on deck to ensure that we hold the elections not later than two weeks after the Congress on Tuesday, to usher in a new Executive Committee of NFF.

“What the NFF is concerned with, even before a similar advice by FIFA, is to ensure an open and transparent process that will guarantee a level –playing field for everyone.

“Every person eligible to purchase form and contest the elections should be able to do so, and the process must be one that dovetails into credible, free and fair elections, that will stand the test of time, devoid of challenges by aggrieved persons that will affect the smooth running of the NFF by the incoming Executive Committee,” stressed Amadu.

He also made it clear that the persons who will be in Warri for Tuesday’s General Assembly will be the same delegates who were at the November 2013 General Assembly in the same city, except where there have been changes that comply with the Statutes.

“For example, the unbanning of Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi and Mr. Chidi Ofor Okenwa means these persons will represent Osun and Enugu states respectively, as chairmen of their state FA. Other than these two, the roll –call remains the same,” Amadu insisted.


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