Nigeria Football Crisis: Factional NFF President, Chris Giwa, assumes office

Chris Giwa
Chris Giwa

Chris Giwa, the man elected by a faction of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, as the federation’s president has assumed office.

Mr. Giwa’s election is recognised by the Nigerian Sports Ministry but not recognised by world football governing body, FIFA, which still recognises Aminu Maigari as the NFF President.

On Wednesday, Mr. Giwa visited the Glass House secretariat of the NFF, and promised that the federation would relocate to its new secretariat in ”two weeks time.”

The new secretariat is located inside the Abuja National Stadium.

Mr. Giwa, who arrived at exactly 2 p.m., performed his first official duty when he held a meeting with members of staff of the NFF. He also inspected the offices which recently got burnt at the Glass House.

Five of the 11 board members elected alongside Mr. Giwa, Adama Yahaya, Sani Fema, Effiong Johnson, Felix Obuah and Obinna Ogba, were also at the secretariat on Wednesday.

Mr. Giwa, who said his election was the will of God, said the new board’s first assignment was “to get the Nigerian football house in order and ensure that the game prosper in the country.”

“We will move out of this place (Glass House) immediately,” he said.

He said it had always been his desire to relocate the NFF from the Glass House.

“Aside from the(fire) incident which took place here, it has been my desire that when I get to office the secretariat will move to our permanent site,” Mr. Giwa said.

He said funds would not be a hindrance to relocating to the new secretariat, as it was with the former board, saying “challenges are resolved according to the attention given to them’’.

The new NFF chairman also said the football body of a country like Nigeria should be operating from a place befitting of its status.

“My first agenda will be to go round the premises and see the situation on ground and see the kind of condition where the staff members are operating from,’’ he said, indicating that he would give staff welfare some attention.

He gave an indication that he would work at reconciling the NFF.

“My first assignment will be to go and ensure that we have one football house and I don’t believe there is a split in the house,’’ he said.

He also said the board would as quickly as possible conclude discussions on Stephen Keshi’s contract for him to take full charge of the Super Eagles.

“Nobody will want to lose a good thing. It will be difficult to push aside Keshi, especially now that he has gained full knowledge of the country’s football and its players,” he said.

However, Ephraim Chukwuemeka, a member of the Interim Committee appointed by the Aminu Maigari faction of NFF, has described the assumption of duty by the Giwa led-board as illegal.

The committee had been appointed by the faction’s congress to man the association’s secretariat pending the election of a new board.

“I came to see what is happening here and I have seen it. What is happening here is an illegality and they (the other faction of the NFF) are indirectly inviting FIFA to ban Nigeria.

“But we (his faction) are not interested in FIFA banning Nigeria. But if anybody should attract that ban , nobody should blame us because we are standing on the path of the truth.

“The truth is that FIFA has said there should be no elections. We should chart the way forward for elections, which we have done.

“We have fixed the elections for September 4. So, anybody who is saying that he is the NFA chairman is occupying the place illegally and we are not interested in using force because the law will take its course,” Mr. Chukwuemeka said.

He said the interim committee members would be assuming duty on Monday with the association’s Secretary-General, Musa Amadu.


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