By Our Reporter
The last has not been heard of Monday’s Football Association Election held in Akwa Ibom state as one of the chairmanship candidate who was disqualified just days to the election has come out to describe the entire process before and during the election as a total charade.
The founder and financier of FC One Rockets, who is also an executive committee member of the Nigeria football federation NFF, in a ‘No holds Barred’ interview with sports journalists in Uyo the Akwa Ibom state Capital, said, he wants sports loving Nigerians, especially passionate stakeholders from Akwa Ibom state, to understand that the men perpetrating this evil, are on a mission to hijack football in the state.
The current Deputy chief whip of the Akwa Ibom state house of assembly who also doubles as chairman committee on youth, sports and security, said he has taken time to listen to these men closely and has come to realize that they don’t have the interest of the game or the state at heart, instead, they are more concerned about how they can infiltrate the state FA with inexperience and irresponsible people that will end up using the office for their selfish gains.
“In the first place, I wouldn’t have contested in the election because I was disqualified by the Electoral Committee whose chairman Chris Essien is also the chairman of the Screening Committee” Hon Nse Essien confirmed.
“After the screening, I was told that I have been disqualified because they claimed that instead of being nominted by local council chairmen whom they say are not members of AKSFA, i should have sought nomination from executive council members. That to me is totally bizarre”
“Well, I still don’t know where they got their guidelines from because as much as I know, the NFF Statutes which is domiciled in the election guidelines used by AKSFA, recommends three local council chairmen endorsement. Also, as an executive committee member of the NFF, I administer the game at the highest level of Nigeria football so I should be able to protect the rules of the owners of the game” Essien emphasized.
“Like I said earlier, the decision of the screening committee was upheld by the Electoral Committee, whose chairman is also the chairman of the screening committee. That in itself, is an aberration but because these men desperately want to install their stooge as FA chairman, they overlooked these obvious flaws which has now thrown the process into deep crisis. Beyond that, a lot of things are wrong with AKSFA and the rule book so I think it’s high time the hidden statute be reviewed to conform with the rules of NFF, CAF and FIFA”.
“Let’s not also forget that there was a court injunction stopping the election. The immediate past Secretary of Uyo Local football council, Edem Tom Okpon had petitioned the NFF through his lawyer Ekanem Ekanem Esq, asking that the election be put on hold until a Federal high Court in Uyo sits on the case filed before it. As law abiding citizens of this great country, once a matter is before a court of competent jurisdiction, I expect that there was no need going ahead with the election, coupled with the fact that the NFF wrote a letter to AKSFA informing them to stay action.
“You will recall that in the build up to the NFF Election in Edo state, there was a court injunction stopping the process and the NFF made sure that the injunction was vacated before elections were conducted. That is because, as much as we are guided by the laws of FIFA, we cannot disobey the laws of our land because, in the first place, the football association must conform with the rules and regulations of the federal republic of Nigeria
“You can now understand why I insisted that those behind Monday’s election are desperados. That charade they call election cannot stand and in a sane clime, by now, the Nigeria police force should be out there looking for all those who participated in that election as this is a clear case of contempt”.
“Let me also inform you guys that the only cleared chairmanship candidate for Monday’s election, happens to be the personal assistant to the current chairman of the Electoral Committee, Chris Essien, when he was chairman of Ibesikpo Asutan local government council in Akwa Ibom state. He is the one they are now pushing forward to be chairman of the state FA”
“I have decided to make these clarifications for posterity sake. It is on record that some persons who passed the sceeening to contest in that illegal election only got three local council chairmen nominations but in my case, they decided to disqualify me, claiming three nominations was not enough.
“I hope with this interview, i have successfully cleared my name of any wrongdoing and also set the records straight” Hon Essien concluded.