The Minister of Sports, Tamuno Danagogo, and the board members of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, have expressed their unhappiness with the way the Amani Biambo led Electoral Committee has handled the election process.
Mr. Danagogo, at a briefing on Wednesday, described the electioneering process as being fraudulent and not transparent.
According to him “The process has not been transparent, the process has not been open.”
The minister said the government was “not interested in any candidate.”
“We stand for transparency in the electoral process.
“We do not want to get involved in the electoral matter; the forms should be made available to all contestants. There should be a level playing field for all,” he said.
Mr. Danagogo and the NFF Board frowned at the process that led to the emergence of Chris Giwa as the only candidate for the position of President in the upcoming election into the Executive Committee of the NFF.
The electoral committee had earlier on Wednesday disqualified three other aspirants – Segun Odegbami, Taiwo Ogunjobi, and Chris Umeh – from the presidential election. It said a fourth aspirant, Aminu Maigari, did not submit his form.
Sources told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Maigari, the impeached president of the NFF, wrote to the board of the federation to formally resign from office on Wednesday. It is not clear if his impeachment was reversed before the resignation.
Meanwhile, the NFF board has announced that it will propose to the General Assembly, the dissolution of the Electoral Committee and Electoral Appeals Committee put in place for the elections.
After a meeting at the NFF Secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday, the Executive Committee said it would call an Extra-Ordinary General Assembly of Nigeria football for August 26 to ratify its proposals.
August 26 is the day the NFF elections were scheduled to be held.
The Acting 1st Vice President of the NFF, Shehu Adamu, said the electoral process has been littered with avoidable flaws and deliberate disenfranchisement of eligible members of the Nigeria football family.
“Following from a statement by the Acting President which was made public eight days ago, in which the NFF said it was worried by the hitches and complaints and widespread criticisms of the process, we have discovered that nothing improved and it was rather allowed to get worse.
“The Electoral Committee has failed to satisfy the yearnings of the football family for a fairplay and credibility of the process. We are deeply disappointed at how people have been non-challantly disenfranchised.
“In the interest of fair play and based on our commitment to ensuring a credible election that will lift the name of our country, the NFF Executive Committee hereby proposes the dissolution of the Electoral and Electoral Appeals Committee to the Congress, which we are calling for Tuesday, 26th August, 2014.”
Mr. Adamu decried the lack of transparency in the entire process and assured that the NFF will consult with world football –governing body, FIFA, and the General Assembly on a probable new date for the elections.
“As it is, we have to start the entire process afresh. In view of this, it will be impossible to hold the elections as earlier scheduled on Tuesday, 26th August, 2014. We will propose a new date for the General Assembly and consult with FIFA on this matter.
“As a result, the Electoral Committee and the Electoral Appeals Committee would have to step aside for now,” he said.
The NFF Acting President, Mike Umeh, who was also disqualified from the coming elections, had on Tuesday last week decried the hitches and complaints, as well as widespread criticisms that had dogged the work of the Electoral Committee.
In that press statement eight days ago, Mr. Umeh had stated: “The litany of complaints and widespread condemnation has been deafening. The best legacy that this team can give to Nigeria football is a flawless electoral process leading to credible elections.
“We will look at the issues arising from the entire process and take a decision that will be in the best interest of, not only those bonafide members of the family who have been short-circuited, but also of the system.
“All persons eligible to purchase forms should be able to. It should be a level –playing field for all because we are keen on credible elections that will satisfy the yearnings of Nigerian ball fans and make our country proud.”
The Minister of Sports, Tamuno Danagogo, said on Wednesday afternoon that the government was opposed to the decision of the electoral committee of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to disqualify some candidates.
Mr. Danagogo, who is also the chairman of the National Sports Commission, NSC, stated this while addressing journalists in Abuja.
“We do not support any process that looks fraudulent,…, that produced one candidate. We want a situation where all stakeholders will contest and neat result will come out.
“For that reason, to us it is proper and it is acceptable to let the press know that we agree with the aggrieved persons in totality,” he said.
The electoral committee had on Wednesday morning disqualified ex-Nigerian international and 1980 Nations Cup winner, Segun Odegbami; former scribe of the NFF, Taiwo Ogunjobi; and current Acting Chairman of the Federation, Victor Umeh.
Only one candidate, Chris Giwa, owner of Giwa FC, was cleared to contest for President of the NFF.
Mr. Danagogo, however, condemned the electoral process expected to lead to the August 26 election of new leaders of the NFF.
“(This) level of ineptitude is certainly not acceptable. NSC will not conduct elections for them. We will do everything possible to conduct free and fair election.
“If it means we will delay the process or resell the form. Forms should be open to individuals eligible to compete,” he said.