• Lagos FA boss launches campaign today
What appears a major hurdle for candidates from the southern zone of the country vying for the presidency in the elective congress of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), may be afoot, if a declaration by the northern caucus of the federation is anything to go by.
The election to usher in a new president and other executive committee members for a four-year tenure will hold in Benin City, Edo State on September 30.
Over 11 contestants are in the race to take over the seat currently occupied by Amaju Pinnick. They include first vice president of the NFF, Seyi Akinwunmi, Chairman of Chairmen, Ibrahim Gusau, former NFF secretary, Musa Amadu, CAF Director, Security, Christian Emeruwa, former Super Eagles goalkeeper and Media Officer, Peterside Idah, former player, Benedict Akwuegbu, former SWAN President and General Manager, Heartland FC, Fan Ndubuoke, former Director, NSC and current Chief of Staff to Sports Minister, Abba Yola, former player, Jonathan Akpoborie and former NFF board member, Amamze Uchegbulam.
Another stakeholder, Ahmed Gara Gombe, is said to be watching the situation before declaring his interest in the election.
A source close to the northern caucus, a group that is fighting to install a northerner as the next NFF president, hinted, yesterday, that all the candidates from the south should forget their ambition.
He hinged the North’s stance on belief that incumbent president, Pinnick’s second tenure has made another southern president impossible.
“Pinnick’s second tenure is for candidates from the south. It is the turn of the north to produce the NFF president and we will get it,” the source told The Guardian yesterday.
The declaration by the northern caucus may have been targeted at candidates like the Lagos FA boss, Seyi Akinwunmi, Christian Emeruwa (Abia State), Peterside Idah (Rivers State), Benedict Akwuegbu (Imo State), Fan Ndubuoke (Imo State), Amanze Uchegbulam (Imo State) and Jonathan Akpoborie (Delta State).
The Northern caucus is said to be working underground to have a consensus candidate from the zone.
“We will resist any attempt by any candidate from the south to replace Pinnick in the coming election. We are also working on the possibility of presenting the most qualified person to take over Nigerian football,” the source said.
Pinnick, who was first elected into office in 2014 in Warri, got a second tenure during the polls held in Katsina in 2018. He thus became the first Nigerian to occupy the office for two consecutive terms.
Meanwhile, the NFF First vice president, Seyi Akinwunmi, is expected to flag off his campaign today in Lagos.