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World Cup reparations and agents of distraction

From the exit of Amodu, hiring of Lars Lagerback, and controversial Durban Hotel Saga, nothing is of utmost concern to me like what some persons…

From the exit of Amodu, hiring of Lars Lagerback, and controversial Durban Hotel Saga, nothing is of utmost concern to me like what some persons are planning presently.

To put it straight, it is the planned march and rally by persons I consider detractors but hiding under the guise of football stakeholders. The protagonists have even gone as far printing flyers and T-shirts for the planned march/rally to be staged in Abuja, the capital city. Their collective motive, LULU MUST GO! It is all aimed at frustrating the second term of Sani Lulu who incidentally has been endorsed by all the zones.

Better still, Lulu’s administration has won six major trophies including an Olympic silver in Beijing 2008, FIFA U-17 silver, FIFA U-17 gold in Korea in 2007 and 2010 world cup qualification. First shot at glory when he came on board was the African Women Championship gold won in Warri in 2006.

In spite of these, the anti-Lulu camps have chosen this crucial preparations moment to act irresponsibly. Prominent names said to be behind the planned rally are former international Segun Odegbami, himself eyeing lulu’s position, former Nigeria Referee Association president Dr. Sam Jaja, former NFA chairman Ibrahim Galadima and former secretary General NFA, Sani Toro. Apart from Dr. Sam Sam Jaja and Ibrahim Galadima, the remaining have openly signified interest for Lulu’s post and desperate about it. It is not wrong for persons or group of persons to openly show their grievances but the manner and timing is of utmost importance. When it is done with total disregard to the mood of the nation and insult to the collective sensibilities of Nigerians who are yearning to see Eagles in a good World Cup outing. It becomes worrisome; in my opinion this march is ill-advised and capable of distracting the Nigeria Football Federation who are thick in the preparation of the team for the mundial. Above all, it is counterproductive.

For persons who call themselves football stakeholders to descend as low as embarking on a mission that is clearly design to cause distraction to our World Cup preparation only weeks to the games at the height of Eagles’ last lap planning is to say the least unfortunate.

It is not a crime to nurse interest or ambition to a public office like the NFF presidency, but resorting to playing politics with our World Cup plans and preparations is detrimental to our image before comity of nations.

Amongst the 32 nations to the World Cup, only Nigeria is about to experience this shame where some persons at the eve of the World Cup will take to the streets on a mission that is clearly hinged on interest that is rather personal than national.

More so, it is not only Nigeria that is preparing for elections after the World Cup, other countries are, so why settle for a time as crucial as the eve of the World Cup? Is it to ensure Nigeria fails? Of what benefit will it be to them should Nigeria fail to do well owing to their ploys of distraction after she has committed so much funds for the World Cup?

Even when we did not as nation qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, there was no march or rally, now that we have the ticket and preparations are in top gear, rather than key into the mood of the nation and work towards the success of the Super Eagles, these ‘saboteurs’ are clamouring for the collapse of the existing structure that gave us the ticket in the first place.

But let us look at the antecedents of those involved. Segun Odegbami for instance should prepare to tell Nigerians to their faces how he managed the National Institute of Sport (NIS). Under him, the NIS experienced the worst form of administrative incompetence. The institute was practically grounded during his tenure.

Some of those parading themselves have been so selfish that they have helped advice sports ministers to destruction, this may not be different. Lest I forget, Nigerians have not forgotten how Odegbami mismanaged 3SC when given the opportunity. If he thinks he is popular enough to win an election, common sense ought to let him know his energy should rather be channeled towards facing the electorate rather than resort to schemes.  

In the case of Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, is he doing this as vendetta because he lost out of the NPL election? Is he getting back at Lulu because of his lost ambition?

Ibrahim Galadima is one person I respected before, but since his name appeared as one of the key figures, I felt he has lost track. He has kept his cool ever since he left the NFA but now desiring to bounce back this way, he has lost his respect before Nigerians. Toro remains the loquacious of the lot. My worry is that Sani Toro speaks from both sides of the mouth. He said all political actions must be kept aside for utmost preparations and concentration for the World Cup, so now that he has pitched his tent with the detractors, is he telling us we should stop seeing him as a man of his words?  

 Obasi contributed this piece from Enugu State.

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