Minister of sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung has thrown the gauntlet back at soccer stakeholders in the country to put heads together on how to finally end the long drawn crisis rocking Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Dalung stated during an emergency meeting with the large array of football technocrats and administrators that they must now take it upon themselves to finally bury to the face off that has hit the NFF since 2014.
Some big name figures in running Nigerian football, who were present at the meeting on Tuesday, three former chairman of the soccer governing body, included Abdulmumini Aminu, Ibrahim Galadima and Aminu Maigari.
There were also in attendance three former general secretaries, Tijani Yusuf, Sani Toro and Bolaji Ojo-Oba, among many other top shots.
Dalung stated further during the Stakeholders Roundtable on the State of Governance of Nigeria Football that it has become highly necessary to find a lasting solution.
He also said when he assumed office as sports minister in November 2015, there was no record on ground to indicate that there was crisis in the NFF or the resolution efforts.
The minister went on to give a rundown on the crisis in the NFF, as well as the current happenings which have further compounded the crisis.
He stated that after the Supreme Court ruling of April 27 which restored Giwa as NFF president, he had also appealed to Giwa to stay action until after the 2018 World Cup.
While pointing out personal efforts he has taken to resolve the crisis, Dalung explained that bringing the stakeholders together was a progressive idea not only to discuss, but most importantly to save football in Nigeria.
He said: “There is an urgent need to hold this meeting and I must first of all brief you on the current developments on the governance of the NFF.
“Here at this meeting, we have elders in the football family and representatives of the major groups in the sport.
“I am hopeful that at the end of the day we should be able to find a lasting solution to this recurring problem.
“My attention was only drawn to the crisis by Chris Giwa’s counsel, asking me to reopen the inconclusive negotiations and notifying me of Giwa’s desire to take over as NFF President.
“However, the Amaju Pinnick-led board failed to respect the agreement reached after the negotiations we had, and this prompted Giwa to go back to the courts, and without my knowledge.
“Giwa accepted to stay action with a condition that his members should be carried along to the World Cup.
“I wrote a letter to NFF, attaching the names of Giwa’s board members and asking them to do something about the request.
“But the Pinnick board turned down the offer saying that some names on the list were banned and cannot attend the World Cup.
“However, for those not banned, they also said they didn’t have the money to sponsor them to the World Cup.”