*Where is the Galadima Report?
*What manner of Senate public hearing did we get last week?
Nigeria is on the brink of entering the Guinness Book of World records as the most tumultuous and controversial football nation on earth. The contentious past two years is like no other, since inception of the competitive football in the country in 1945.
Combatants of all shades and colours have dogged in with the intention of gaining the upper hand in the battle to win the soul of the game. The reason for these unending battles are not farfetched.
Apparently, they are traceable to the obvious absence of the requisite enabling laws, to regulate the administration of the game in the country. In other words, we now operate a lawless system that promotes open disregard for the constitution of the nation, while encouraging the spirit of winner takes all.
The irony in all of these, is that most combatants battling for the soul of the nation’s football are self-centered and have little or nothing to contribute towards the growth of the game.
Their only interest is how to bleed the federation dry. This primordial attitude is unlike what obtains in the past, when committed money bags who genuinely loved the game held sway. The likes of Chief S. B. Williams, Nathaniel Idowu and Alhaji Yusuf Ali used their resources to bail the association whenever they were in critical need.
These are either in form of loan or outright donations. The reverse is now the case, as the most pertinent question in the heart of these vampires is “what do I benefit” from the coffers of the football house.
They deliberately gallivant the world in search of justification to waste the organisation’s funds. The outcome is simply to gather estacode allowance for members of the executive boards at the detriment of the players who have suffered abject neglect. Unfortunately, the so-called FIFA Statutes is yet to be domesticated in Nigeria, while the only known law is the NFA Act 101 of 2004 (as amended).
They are always highly reluctant in quoting this law, simply because it tends to curtail their powers. As such, they have practically breached every provision of the laws on the grounds that it is obsolete.
Attempts to revisit this law in the past eight years had been truncated due to inability of the National Sports Commission (NSC), to cough out the sum of N60 million demanded to fast track its passage. The honorable members of the National Assembly had threatened to truncate the process of passing the bill then, unless the commission comply with their demand for bribe to do their work.
Incidentally, they successfully honoured their threats by abandoning the bill till their tenure expired thereby leaving the nation worst-off for it, as countless numbers of litigations became the order of the day, thereby posing serious distraction to the nation. This has made Nigeria a bundle of laughing stock before the world.
There is no gain saying that FIFA and Confederation of African Football (CAF) as regulatory bodies are tired of Nigeria and her seemingly intractable crisis. Because of the dubious methods devoid of fairness adopted in conducting elections into the executive board of the federation, new claimants are thrown out on daily basis. Instead of doing what is right, the rule of the thumbs is applied, by people who have no legitimacy to lay claim to the position of stakeholders.
Majority of these individuals could best be passed off as fans of the game are now claiming to be the Lord of the manor. Out of sheer desperation, they are now devising all manner of strategies to perpetuate themselves in office. They manipulate the rules at will to suit themselves because their eyes are focused on re-elections come 2018.
This apparently explains why they resorted to selection of loyalists rather than election to reconstitute the boards of the most vibrant league bodies in the country.
The divide and rule approach they have adopted has polarised the Club Owners Association, as only the “Yes men” are reckoned with in the scheme of things. The attempt by the Senate Committee on Sports to hurriedly revisit the inherited bill, by staging a closet, sorry, public hearing recently is nothing but mere cosmetics.
We are all well aware of how the Senate President’s club, ABS FC of Ilorin, gained promotion from the Professional League where they were relegated to last year to the Premiership this year in very controversial circumstances. It is now a case of wash my back and I will wash yours, since the federation’s goons have compromised the system.
To start with, the hearing was done in secrecy and the character of the men invited are questionable, as it gives the impression that the Senate Committee led by Obinna Ogba, was working on already defined answers to the questions. In other words, it was a pre-determined assignment to reward those who helped “oga”.
After all, why are the likes of Sani Ahmed Toro, Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba, Dr. Tijani Yusuf and even Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima not there?
These are men who know their onion and could collaborate or substantiate the claims made by some of the fair weather friends. The Senate should go a step further to demand from the Honourable Minister the well detailed Galadima Report, that was buried before birth, as it holds the solution to the myriads of problem besetting the nation’s football.
After all, laws are not made for an individual but designed to ensure that they outlast generations. Let’s be wise.