The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has apologised for one of the errors committed by President Muhammadu Buhari in his recent controversial board appointments.
The appointments of 209 board chairpersons and 1,258 board members were announced on Friday. PREMIUM TIMES reported some of the controversies surrounding the appointments such as the inclusion of dead persons and the duplication of same names on different boards.
The presidency on Saturday tried to explain the inclusion of the dead persons, saying the list was compiled in 2015.
However, another gaffe made and for which the sports minister apologised is the appointment of board members of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF.
By football laws, NFF board members are elected at a congress and not political appointees.
The minister called on those in the football fraternity to remain calm as efforts were being made to correct the ‘oversight.’
Mr. Dalung said in a statement that the appointment of members into the NFF board by the federal government was an oversight, as by virtue of their statutes, members are elected and not appointed.
“The recently released board members of NFF is an oversight which is being sorted out. NFF is governed by statutes and board members are elected by congress and not appointed.
“I am appealing for calm from all stakeholders as it was an administrative oversight. Efforts are tailored towards addressing it very soon.”
The minister also stated that the Nigerian government and football’s governing body, FIFA, are in talks to clarify the issue and assure the football regulator that no harm was intended.
“I have spoken with FIFA Secretary General over the situation in Nigeria and conveyed federal government’s commitment to uphold the governance structure of the Nigeria football Federation.
“All efforts are on course to liaise with CAF and FIFA on constructive engagement that the situation may likely attract. This board of NFF under Amaju has provided leadership but their performance is subject to a congress and not appointment,” Mr. Dalung stated.
The need for quick reversal of the appointments into the NFF cannot be overemphasised as FIFA frowns at government interference in football administration in member countries.
Such interference are often met with tough punishment; including suspension from international football activities across the globe.