Ex-International football goalkeeper, Idah Peterside has said that his biggest fear, if eventually elected as the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), is impeachment.
Mr Peterside, also a former Media Officer of the Super Eagles, said this on Wednesday in Abuja while declaring his intention to contest for the position of NFF president.
He said his leadership style, if elected into office, might make him come into conflict with those who usually do things the wrong way.
“We are going to change the face of football; my biggest fear is that they might try to impeach me because we will be transparent, we will shake the table, suspend referees, close down stadiums and instill discipline,” he said.
Mr Peterside told the football stakeholders who came to witness his declaration, that he had no godfather or sponsor going into the election but that he had strong feelings that he would emerge victorious.
“I don’t have a sponsor; nobody is sponsoring me except football. My biggest sponsor is my passion.
“If people have money to give, I don’t have to give and the truth about it is that our football needs surgery in too many ways.
“I have spoken to some of the administrators about the wrongs in our football leagues and they have explained a lot of things to me, but I said to them, yes you have explained to me but nobody cares until it is fixed, and it must be fixed.
“There are times that I have seen people in charge of our football doing so little for the game and expect us to say thank you or clap for them.
“We don’t owe them any thank you because it is our right. I know what grassroots football is all about because I played in South Africa and Israel.
“Grassroot football is state football. I say this without fear that all the FA chairmen have been cheated for years but I will give you money to administer football in your states if I am elected because we must develop the game from the grassroots,” Mr Peterside said.
According to him, the time when the leadership of the NFF collects billions of Naira as sponsorship money and gives peanuts to state FA chairmen to run football in their domain, is past.
He urged the FA chairmen to disappoint anybody who gives them money to vote by collecting it and voting for those who mean well for Nigeria’s football.
Mr Peterside, who noted that he did not believe in zoning arrangement for football, said that he would change the face of the game if given the mandate to pilot its affairs.
“When they give you money take it because it is what they didn’t give you in eight years for football development; when you get there, look for my picture and vote for me.
“A vote for me is a vote for change and restoration. I am not contesting for money because I am contented. I am contesting to make Nigerians happy. I have a television station and I pastor a church of about 4000 worshippers. I will carry everybody along.”
NFF’s 2nd Vice President, Shehu Dikko, who witnessed the declaration, said he believed so much in the capability of ex-internationals and urged them to join hands in moving the game forward.
“What Peterside is doing today is the way to go. It is not for you to sit down in your comfort zone and be talking about how things are not being done correctly, while you have the opportunity to throw your hat in the ring or send your ideas forward.
“I am excited about the way the election process is going because we are actually defining the way politics should be played and we are redefining the democratic process of Nigerian football.
“And I believe that if it continues this way, by the end of this election, Nigerian football will be much better.
“We knew what happened in 2005, 2010, and 2014 elections. It will come and our football family will tear apart, but in 2018, we took a decision to do things the right way.
“A winner will emerge and everybody will support him for the good of football. There is no opposition in football, it’s just to know who should be the leader of the family and who should be supporting the leaders,” Mr Dikko said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Dikko, who is also the Chairman of the League Management Company, indicated interest to contest for the NFF top position even before Mr Peterside’s declaration.
Others who are interested in the position are Lagos State FA Chairman and 1st Vice President of the NFF, Seyi Akinwunmi, and Chairman of Club Chairmen, Ibrahim Gusau.
Former NFF General Secretary, Musa Amadu and Abba Yola, a former Special Adviser to former Sports Ministers, and current Chief of Staff to the current Minster of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, are also interested candidates.
The NFF election is scheduled to hold in Benin City, Edo State on 30 September.
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