March, 10 2022.
By Wale Ajayi.
When a league season is gradually coming to an end, the permutations begin. The top teams start looking at the possibilities while the bottom teams take time to count their loses and look for ways to stay up.
In the buildup to the 2022 NFF Elective Congress, the silence can no longer endure, voices have began to converge as men and women begin desperate alignment in their quest for relevance and acceptance.
About last month, a group of northern elites met in Jigawa, two months earlier, another group met in Bida Niger state and just two weeks ago, there was a meeting in the South as egg heads begin their maneuverings.
As at today, there are just three persons jostling for the hotseat. One in the South West, another in the North West and one in the South South.
The one in the South West has vowed to beat all comers to the plum job. He says he is confident of picking 18 votes from the North and has done his home work perfectly in the South South and South West. He says he is the chosen one, that the presidency has already endorsed.him and all that remains is for D-day to come and he will be crowned lord of the flies.
Unfortunately, the same man he claims has agreed to work with him as Vice President, has gone about doing his silent campaign. This ambitious grassroot exponent from the North west believes he is the most powerful football administrator alive today.
He is the chairman of many chairmen, he is feared and respected by many but recently, he seem to have lost grounds because of his romance with the South West politician.
As at 2020, he holds the ace. His partnership with his friend from Kano state saw them infiltrating key northern stakeholders but between July 2021 and now, power is gradually shifting back to the forgotten but not forbidden soldier. A man that at one time was the most loved football administrator in Nigeria.
As Chairman of the referees appointment committee, he planted.smiles on the faces of many and revived grassroot football in the north. He built capacities among the youth and gave many opportunities to thrive.
He brought Fresh breathe to football administration in the north, sponsored referees and coaches to local and international coaching courses and helped many northern youths to launch themselves into national and international limelight.
At one point he was rendered.weak but today, he is back and better.
About two months ago, he took the cream Dela cream of Nigeria football to Bida for the biggest grassroot football competition. There, they sat to discuss the next agenda.
He has formed a deadly partnership with his friend from Katsina state, the ever reliable, ever formidable and always available Alhaji with the midas touch.
Call him Dan Arewa and you will smile. These man is the kings-maker. He decides who becomes.the next NFF president. You can't be president without his blessing. He is the most coverted, most influential and most feared northerner in sports. He talks less.but spends much.
He is not interested in the NFF presidency but he silently seeks a seat in the board. That ambition has brought commotion to the northwest as his coming, will effectively put an end to the reign of one of the strong men.
Commotion everywhere. Too much commotion. A board member from Jos has already been sacrificed, kinsmen have offered.him to the birds as his seat, another has gladly taken. The calculations and permutations are seriously ongoing but from my vantage.posirion I laugh with lips sealed.
The South South enigma is still undecided if he will run, for him, a ticket to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is more.than anything and he is desperate, very desperate to get it.
He is also aware that in their desperation to stop his rumored third term ambition, enemies are daily visiting native doctors, consulting spiritualists and burying live cows for rituals so that Nigeria will not qualify for the World Cup.
For these men, they say, if that is what we can use to stop his third term, dream,.then let it happen!
That explains how bad things have turned. The enemity is getting very intense, the bitterness and bile is irritating and the hatred is just unimaginable.
Yet there is a pending court case stopping the process leading to the conduct of the election. There is now a big question as to whether the election will hold this year or next year and with all these comes a dark cloud hovering around Nigeria football.