I guess most of us know the story of the foolish fly that once followed a corpse to the grave. In case you don’t, this is how it happened. During a burial ceremony, a fly that was later discovered to be very stubborn kept perching on the corpse. It did that for the whole night.
The next morning, it was time for the dead body to be interred. After all the burial rites, the corpse was taken to the graveyard for the final interment. The fly wasn’t left behind as it continued to perch on the casket.
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Those who thought the fly would allow the corpse to Rest in Peace at that time were disappointed as the stubborn fly refused to leave the grave and that was how it was buried along with the corpse. This incident no doubt brought about the story of the foolish fly that followed the corpse to the grave.
Therefore, when someone is unwilling to stop even when it is obvious that the time to quit or exit has come, he or she is likened to the foolish fly that consciously chose to follow the corpse to the grave.
Mr Amaju Pinnick was re-elected as the president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), on September 21, 2018 for another four years in office. He was first elected controversially in 2014 in his home town of Warri in Delta State. As it is commonly said, ‘Warri no the carry last’, so even as he wasn’t the most qualified candidate, Pinnick didn’t carry last. Unfortunately, the election in Warri is no doubt the genesis of the present mess in Nigerian football.
Going by the date of the 2018 NFF election in Katsina, the tenure of the present board of the NFF will end on September 20. Under normal circumstances, Pinnick who has failed to provide the desired leadership for Nigerian football should have finished writing his handover notes but the reverse is the case. Since there is no tenure limitation in the NFF statutes, Pinnick and some of his friends who have performed woefully and shouldn’t dream of another term are presently scheming to stay on.
It is indeed, shameful that Pinnick who once renounced his third term ambition when the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup has made a sharp U-turn and is clandestinely plotting to continue in office. He is simply doing everything to prove to everyone in Nigeria that he is the smartest guy around.
However, in view of the continuous decline in Nigerian football and having understood the self-perpetuation agenda of the present leadership of the NFF, the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports had written to advise Pinnick to immediately commence the process for the 2022 election.
The memo from the sports ministry stated unambiguously that the NFF should open up the space to accommodate more stakeholders and ensure that the 2022 election is held unfailingly in the month of September.
Instead of the NFF board taking the government’s timely advice in good faith, Pinnick and his gang twisted everything to mean undue interference from the government. It wasn’t surprising because it is only when the sport federation is begging for money from the government that there is usually no talk of interference.
For the simple fact that Pinnick has already amassed so much wealth, he thinks it is degrading for him to be answerable to any sports minister again. In fact, he has never submitted fully or willingly to any sports minister that has had cause to work with. So, when he was served the memo from the Federal Government, he must have viewed it as something that emanated from an ‘ordinary Sunday Dare’.
This may also explain why there was no response to the Presidential directive until the time that some of his congressmen began to hold secret meetings against him. As if tired of his high-handedness and divide and rule style of leadership, some state FA Chairmen decided to ‘rebel’ against their leader with a vaulting ambition. The singular agenda of their nocturnal meetings was to compel Pinnick to call for congress where the process for the 2022 NFF election would begin.
It appears the ‘rebels’ in the glasshouse have succeeded in forcing Mr Pinnick into calling for a congress. If the date that is flying about remains sacrosanct, the General Assembly of the NFF will take place on August 16 in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
However, indications have emerged that the meeting may not hold because Pinnick is allegedly doing everything possible to stop the proposed congress and the September election from taking place. A reliable source who is also a powerful state FA chairmen has confided in me that the desperate NFF president in connivance with some executive committee members had written a letter to FIFA requesting for more time to prepare for the 2022 election. According to my source, the enemies of Nigerian football want the election to be held in January 2023 when it would be easy to manipulate it as the attention of the government and Nigerians would be shifted to the national and state elections.
It is against this background that no one can confidently say that the proposed congress in Yenagoa is going to hold this week or the much talked election will be conducted in September in line with the NFF statutes.
Moreover, it is said that in an attempt to scuttle the proposed congress meeting, the NFF has already sent confusion in the camps of Nigerian ex-footballers by inviting to the meeting a rival group, All Nigerian Players Football Union, instead of the well-known Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) whose members have been a thorn in the flesh of Mr. Pinnick.
PFAN is already spoiling for war. If the two factions clash in Yenagoa, the meeting will most likely end in disarray. This is a deliberate and dangerous strategy because the ‘coup plotters’ know that once there is no congress, there will be no election.
Well, Pinnick can’t exonerate himself completely from most of the accusations being leveled against him because he has not demonstrated enough commitment towards the 2022 NFF election. And when he was recently quoted by a news medium as saying that influential Nigerians are begging him to run for another term, it became obvious that like a typical African leader, he wants to behave like the foolish fly.