The attention of Nigerian football stakeholders has quickly turned toward the fast-approaching executive committee elections into the country’s soccer governing body.
With the Super Eagles now out of the World Cup in Russia, officials, aides and supporters of various aspirants have commenced frenetic campaigns, with allegations of lump sums of dollars also changing hands.
Subsequently, all focus of attention will be on the race to The Glasshouse in Abuja, as this year’s elections to the executive committee of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) linger.
While the Eagles’ campaign lasted in Russia, Nigeria football stakeholders set up base in Saint-Petersburg, with several meetings and gatherings holding in anticipation of the NFF polls slated for September in Katsina.
The incumbent executive committee members are hoping to be returned, based on an argument for continuity and to build on what they have achieved in the past four years.
NFF president, Melvin Amaju Pinnick is brandishing his connections at FIFA and CAF as one of the reasons he should be considered for re-election.
He has also spoken of an aggressive marketing drive that has fetched the NFF millions of dollars from sponsorship as well as improved welfare packages for the Super Eagles.
However, Pinnick’s critics are also quick to put up allegations of lack of accountability and transparency against this administration amid various anti-graft petitions targeted at top NFF chieftains.
His main rivals are former NFF president, Alhaji Aminu Maigari and Osun State Football Association chairman, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi.
Further speculations indicate that FC Ifeanyiubah owner, Chief (Dr) Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah has also thrown his hat in the ring, after he was initially advised to run for the post of ‘Chairman of Chairmen.’
Allegations have also emerged that some states’ football association chairmen were paid $4,000 for being part of the World Cup jamboree.
The 36 FA chairmen and that of the FCT are said to be the bulk of the 44-man congress that will vote for a new executive committee of the NFF on September 29 in Katsina.
Former top NFF chieftains who also made the trip to Russia were paid $3,000 a man after they also turned down an initial offer of $1,500.
Cash will again play a crucial role in the next NFF vote, as observers recall that a candidate paid as much as $13,000 to each delegate at the 2014 polls in Warri, Delta State.
A credible source affirmed: “The FA chairmen rejected an initial $3,000 before they settled for $4,000 in Saint Petersburg. Their secretaries, who will not vote at the elections, were paid half that sum.”