Maigari returns as NFF president

Aminu Maigari

The embattled president of the Nigeria football federation, Aminu Maigari, returned to work Tuesday two weeks after he was removed by the Chris Giwa-led faction.

Throughout the time, Mr. Maigari insisted he was the rightful president of the crisis-ridden body, while Mr. Giwa also made claims to the seat.

An intervention by FIFA paved way for Mr. Maigari’s return after the football governing body threatened to suspend Nigeria if Mr. Giwa failed to vacate the seat by Monday.

The General Secretary of NFF, Musa Amadu, had earlier resumed Monday with assurance that the crisis was over.
The NFF has been riddled by a leadership tussle since the August 26 annual general assembly when the two factions emerged.

Mr. Giwa was endorsed by the Sports Minister.

Speaking to reporters in his office, Mr. Maigari said he was back for a short period and will sacrifice his ambition for re-election for peace to reign in Nigerian football.

“I am ready to sacrifice my personal ambition, I will not contest,” he said. “It is just an interim return, I just came back to put the house in order. We are here to usher in a new board by the grace of God the new board will soon be in place.”

“Eagles lost to Congo the last time, too sad. Very bad but it is part of the game. But since we are back we will address the situation. I am optimistic that Super Eagles will make Nigeria proud,” he added.

He said there was nothing he could have done about the prolonged crisis.

“I feel bad about the crisis. The Nigeria football family is not so good with crisis. In a situation like this we cannot do away with crisis, that is what has landed us were we are, but the way out is that we must do what we have to do, we have statutes and we must follow what is in it,” he said.

Mr. Maigari also denied there was a letter from the Court of arbitration on Sports, CAS, which ordered FIFA to ask Chris Giwa to go back to the office.

“I have not seen their (CAS) letter. For the election, the executive committee will have to sit and plan, there are procedures which we must follow, I just cannot come back and say we are going to do election, but we must do it in the shortest possible time,” he said.

Also addressing the media Tuesday, the sports minister, Tamuno Danagogo, said he had directed Mr. Maigari and Chris Giwa not to return to the office untill there was normalcy.

He denied knowledge of Mr. Magari’s resumption.

“I have asked Maigari and Giwa not to return to the office until there is normalcy, he has not told me anything,” he said.

Mr. Maigari is expected to set up an extraordinary congress that will conduct a fresh elections for new executive board members to be elected into office.

A letter addressed to Mr. Maigari and signed by Jerome Valcke, the secretary general to FIFA, and exclusively obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, has ordered the NFF to conduct an election as soon as possible and also warned them to not err to avoid immediate suspension.


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