Nigeria Football Crisis: Maigari’s travails

Aminu Maigari

The exit of the Super Eagles from the Brazil 2014 World Cup marked the beginning of the troubles for Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, President Aminu Maigari.

Even though the wall was reportedly cracking prior to the World Cup campaign, the agitation for bonuses by Super Eagles players on the eve of the France game and the embarrassment that forced President Jonathan to send cash to Brazil did not do any good to the already crumbling empire of the NFF boss.

In that light, it was not surprising for many when news filtered in that the Bauchi State born administration was picked up on arrival from Brazil at the airport by security officials.

Though Maigari was to be released soon afterwards, his grip on the NFF was lost.

The albatross that finally sank Maigari’s boat was stated as financial misappropriation, misapplication and maladministration – and he was impeached and dismissed from the board.

After ‘surviving’ Mrs. Baribote’s Jos Court pronouncement, Maigari was reinstated. The withdrawal of the case from court and his board’s reinstatement, made FIFA, lift the suspension imposed on the country.

After that reinstatement, Emeka Inyama told journalists that: “We are here to interact with one another, we really cannot call this a meeting but an interactive session, but the board will meet again next week Thursday.”

That ‘next Thursday’ was the last one that Maigari presided over as President as a vote of no confidence was passed on him by eight of the 12 members of the board and he was thus ‘sacrificed’ or impeached as it were.

In a true never say die fashion, Maigari from then onwards was involved in intense lobbying of not just allies in the state football federations, a majority who were against his impeachment, but also the government where he made a convincing argument that the crisis was painting the country in bad light.

This led to the secretary to the government, Pius Anyim, helping out in brokering some level of peace.

Late Thursday night, reprieve finally came the way of Maigari as FIFA wrote the country asking for his reinstatement.

The Minister of Sports, Tamuno Danagogo, and the embattled president of the NFF, Maigari, then held a joint press conference in Abuja on Friday where it was revealed that Maigari would be back at the Glass House on Monday.

FIFA had written to the NFF on Thursday stating that the impeachment proceedings on Maigari did not follow the laid down statutes and that Maigari must be the conductor of the upcoming election in to the NFF board.

The Minister advised Maigari to make sure that the election, slated for August 26, is ‘all-embracing’ and fair to all concerned.

Finally back in his position, the drama in past weeks is one Magiari will not forget in a hurry even as those coming behind him will be wary of suffering similar fate if they find them self in office.

Maigari had indicated interest to seek a second term in office by contesting the August 26 elections. It is not clear, however, if he would still seek re-election.

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