Former Chairman of Sokoto Football Association, Mallam Danladi Bako, has endorsed Seyi Akinwunmi to become the next president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Bako observed that Akinwunmi is the right man to succeed Amaju Pinnick and take Nigerian football to greater heights with a holistic approach and professional execution.
Speaking at the official launch of Akinwunmi’s manifesto and campaign in Abuja, Bako said: “I’m from the north and I have endorsed Seyi. NFF affairs have never been an issue or politics of where anyone comes from. It’s about competence and my conscience tells me that Seyi is eminently an outstanding personality that can take Nigerian football to where we all desire.
“Seyi is one man we respect so much, that is why the who is who in Nigerian football came to grace his declaration. Those who decide our fate in Nigerian football, the congressmen are present here. They have a choice to make whenever the time comes, as to who they endorse but by me being present here, it has given support to Seyi.”
Underlining the spirit in which football unifies Nigeria, and what his support of Akinwunmi means, Bako said: “If those of us who don’t want to bring politics of region and ethnicity into the elections are supporting him, what else?
“What goes around will come around. Once upon a time you had Alhaji Galadima, followed by Sani Lulu followed by Aminu Maigari. One stretch of three chairmen from the North, so why didn’t you complain at that time? So if you follow my drift, I am looking for merit and the best material.”
Mallam Bako, who has a long standing exposure to and experience of football administration in Nigeria, explained the characteristics of a leader needed at the NFF.
“I want a president that will use our money judiciously and is accountable. I want a president that will take care of all national teams without giving excuses of no money.
“I want a president who will not only attract sponsorship or engage coaches, but disclose the terms and any contract contents to Nigerians. I want a president who will reengineer Nigerian football from grassroots.
“Whoever wins this election, I beg everyone to support him… I’m very much confident that Akinwunmi will win based on his track record. Anyone who can effectively manage Lagos FA, a Lagos with over 20 million population, a population of another African country, can do very well as president of NFF. So Seyi has a lot to offer.”
Also supporting Akinwunmi’s candidature, Remo Stars chairman, Kunle Soname, said “football, anywhere in the world, has gone beyond mere rhetorics to strategic business model, which is capable of engaging everyone interested, especially young people and give them meaningful life.”
The billionaire businessman added: “So, redirecting the focus of Nigerian football is paramount if we must achieve the desired goal.”
Meanwhile, the NFF Electoral Committee will release a shortlist of candidates for the various positions on September 12, 2022.